I remember after he was born that Mother's Day had an entirely different meaning to me. It became my favorite day of the year, not only because it was for and about ME, but those pre-school Mother's Day brunches with the hand made cards and dead dandelions coming home in a painted flower pot were always so sweet and special.
What I really grew to love about Mother's Day was the community feeling I have with all the other mothers in my path. Most of my Mother's Days have been spent in and out of the temple dropping kids at Hebrew School and on the soccer field. Both of those places are swarming with mothers and I love the communal wishing of "Happy Mother's Day" to my fellow mothers.
This year I have been thinking a lot about the women that are not currently mothering either by choice, or by many unexplained phenomena that are preventing the opportunity to mother. I know women that are unable to get pregnant, who haven't found a partner with whom to parent or who are waiting for a child via adoption. I also know too many women that have lost children either during pregnancy or after a their child has been born.
I read this blog post (http://nomoretomorrows.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/for-the-mothers-who-are-but-arent/) from a woman who lost a child in utero and it brought tears to my heart. I also read this post called "Dear Moms of Adopted Children" (http://www.kathylynnharris.com/dear-moms-of-adopted-children/). I saw photos posted of friends and their moms who are no longer living and many photos of friends with their moms or of grandma's and their grandchildren. While this day is joyful for many, it can also be painful and stinging for many others.
A friend posted this on Facebook today and it couldn't be farther from the truth:
"Living across the country from my family, I've come to believe that it really does take a village. I am blessed to have so many friends who are willing to help care for my kids and keep them in line. Happy Mothers' Day to my village and to all my friends, nearby and far away. Today we honor all women who guide our children, whether or not they are mothers in the literal sense. Enjoy your day."
I've been thinking about all of the women in our community that give so much love and support to our kids; some are mothers, some are not. I know many women that are aunts and that love their nieces and nephews as much as their mothers do. Often the aunts make for the better playmate/confidante/partner-in-crime because they are exactly that: NOT the mother. I think about all of the women that take care of our kids while we go to work; day care providers, nannies and au pairs - WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THEM?
What really used to be a Hallmark holiday has, with the help of social media, become a much written about, posted about and/or tweeted about day. Whether it was sweet, sour or bittersweet for you, I wish you joy in this moment and the knowledge that tomorrow we ALL go back to the drawing board: work, laundry, meals etc.