When I decided to write a post about Mother’s Day, which is this coming Sunday, May 12th, I had a lot of possible directions to take. I could have made a list of gift ideas, or written about how time spent together is more valuable, or even quoted numerous authorities on motherhood, family, and love. However, since I am blessed to be a mother of two myself, these choices seemed a little too self-serving.
Instead, I decided to share some of my feelings about being a mother. I became a mother for the first time when I was only twenty. I was not really prepared to take on such responsibility, but then again, who is at any age? The learning curve was steep with my son, though I did my best, and I like to think I did not do a terrible job. Four years later we welcomed my daughter to our home. In some ways it was easier the second time round, as we already knew some of what to expect, but then again, no two children are alike.
As my children grew I began to see them more and more as distinct individuals, each with their own unique personalities, though they inherited plenty of traits from their father and me. (Sorry about that, kids.)
I learned early on that it doesn’t make sense to dwell on ideals-what I’d like the children to do or be, but it’s far more important to see what and who they truly are, while still rooting for them to reach their farthest potential. My kids have grown up to be independent, responsible adults, and I like to think I helped them best along the way by teaching them to make their own choices, and accepting the consequences.
I know that being a mother doesn’t stop at a certain age or point of development-I still worry about their safety, their happiness, their future. I want the best for them, and would do anything I could to give them that. Mothers love fiercely, completely, and protectively. I think if my children were in danger I could perform heroic deeds to keep them safe, though I am hardly brave or strong as a person.
Being a mother is a lifetime conviction, and no other vocation is as devoted, as stressful, or as blessed. It is a calling that it not for everyone, certainly, but it comes with endless rewards for those who accept the challenge.
To all those readers who are, or plan to be, mothers out there, I wish you a Very Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S. My all-time favorite gifts from my children for Mother’s Day were the hand-written cards and poems I received when they were young, some of which are still hanging framed on my bedroom walls today, and the breakfasts that were lovingly cooked by teenaged hands years later.