Happy Mother's Day!
”A very happy Mother’s Day week to all the mommas out there! May you feel tenfold the love that you have so selflessly shared.”
Growing up Mother’s Day always meant the same thing to me – church, lunch, and an afternoon of sunshine and springtime with Mom and family. It meant a Hallmark card from Walgreens and some sort of hand-frosted cake. It meant celebrating a woman who, the other 364 days a year, we too often took for granted.
But the more life I live, the more dimensions, the more meaning, and the more weight this upcoming day of celebrating moms takes on. Truthfully the idea in and of itself seems somewhat lacking, allotting 24 hours as sufficient to acknowledge a lifetime of labor. Or on the other hand, enduring 24 hours of sorrow in light of a lifetime of broken love. Either way, the day comes each year for each mother and daughter, and it passes with some degree of gratitude or hurt.
To mother is undeniably what all of us were made for. By no means the only or single greatest calling we have, but certainly one of the most emotionally, biologically, and spiritually heightened adventures on which we as women will embark. Someone is created, nurtured, and given life through you, or you have been created, nurtured, and given life through someone else. Relational intimacy in its most intrinsic form.
In every season for every mother and child, however, the day will look different. For new moms, it marks the inauguration of a whole new life, however sleepless and foreign and charged with torrents of emotion as it may be. For some, it is slightly stable yet blessedly chaotic, full of hide-and-seek and swing sets and dance parties and temper tantrums. For some whose children have grown, it may be a long-distance phone call or a shared glass of wine.
For many the day can’t help bring more sadness than celebration. A mother you never knew, a child you lost, another miscarriage after prolonged struggle with infertility. We will try to smile and celebrate the loves we do have yet all the while feeling empty from the love we’ve lost, or worse, never got to have.
I can’t help but consider what none of us want to consider on Mother’s Day this year, not to steal joy from those whose hearts are full but to remind us of those whose cups feel empty. For all women, this day will play out within the specific circumstances and stories of our lives, personal, poignant, and so very worthy of acknowledging.
For those ready to laugh and play and cut the cake, embrace that! Revel in overwhelming gratitude for the love you share as a mother or with a mother, and remember with inviting tenderness others around you who may not.
For those of us dreading another holiday reminding us of love lost or not yet experienced, we must cling to the loves we do have, have had, and pray for the courage simply to smile.
We are all wired with deep capacities to love, nurture, and give life, sometimes as mothers and sometimes as sisters, daughters, and friends. I pray this year we can all embrace this holiday for just what it’s meant to celebrate – our divine potential as women to pour out ourselves and pour into others, just as others have already poured into us.
A very happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there! May you feel tenfold the love that you have so selflessly shared.