Whether a child has come forth from your own loins or not, if you are a woman, you are a mother. You have mothered your own soul to this point in your life. You have mothered the hearts and souls of friends, relatives, and sometimes even strangers. Do you remember the woman working at the grocery store, in the clothing shop, or driving the bus? If you smiled and thanked her, if you laughed with her at something silly and fun, if you helped her by being a thankful and patient patron, then you mothered her a little bit. As women, we mother, we love, we touch, we heal. It's who we are, how we are wired, and one of the most important things we do in life.
(Men are created to do the same thing, but this time I am celebrating Mothers.)
So what am I thankful for today as it relates to Mother's Day?
1. That my mother is alive. Having a mother isn't always easy, but, in most cases, it is considerably easier than not having a mother.
2. That my mother gets to celebrate 50 years of motherhood today - not including the nine months of pregnancy. My oldest brother turns 50 today! Way to go, Otis!
3. That I am a mother to Kristiana and Daniel.
4. That both of my children are healthy, growing, smart, thoughtful, gorgeous children. (When is someone going to explain to me how to upload photos so I can show them off???)
5. That I get to be at home with them every day, teaching them and learning right along with them.
6. That some of the coolest, smartest, and most interesting women I know are raising some of the coolest, smartest, most interesting kids I know. I have been blessed with wonderful women friends. Too many to name. I thank God for each of you every time I remember you.
7. That my son did well in the school interview and on the entrance exam he took yesterday. It's looking very likely that I'll be a teacher of one next year...
8. That I have had all these years to mother my children. My heart breaks when I think of the pain of countless mothers who have lost their children to disease, to famine, to natural disasters, to accidents, and to war and other forms of violence.
9. That I have had the opportunity to mother other people's children. To hold them, change their diapers, bathe them, feed them, babysit, teach, counsel, carpool, host sleepovers, cheer at sporting events, concerts, dance shows, and bake cookies for hungry neighborhood wanderers.
10. That my children have been loved and mothered by others: with artwork (thanks Leonie), with good food (thanks Jill), with friendship and hospitality (thanks Karen, Cathy, Maria, Barbara, Jen, Robin, Jan, Betsy, and so many more).
11. That one of the original reasons for Mother's Day was not the selling of cards and chocolate, but a call for a day of peace. The hope was that mothers would stand together against war and violence. We know the pain of the loss of our sons and daughters to a depth that their fathers, the generals and presidents, the warlords and tsars, will never know.
I hope and pray that on Sunday, Mother's Day 2007, in our hearts and homes and churches and neighborhoods, in the halls of power and prestige, women's voices will be heard as we say: "Enough bloodshed. We love our children. We are proud of our children. And we want our children here at home with us, out of harm's way. Why are their children killing our children? Why are our children killing their children? When can we call a truce on all the bloodshed so that Mother's Day will be a day of peace, laughter, hugs, cards and chocolate - and no longer a day of mourning over the countless thousands of children, sons and daughters, we keep losing?"
I look forward to the cards and sweets and attention that will come my way on Mother's Day. I will accept them all with tears in my eyes and great love in my heart.
And in the back of my mind all day long will be a non-stop prayer for peace. For rest from war. From hatred. From fear. From greed. From all that ails us, our families, our nation, and our world.
Such a day would be the Happiest Mother's Day Ever!