11 May 2014

Mothers' Day 2014

Photo by Kevin Miller
Love to the mothers. 

Love to the ones that wake in the night, night after night, then stumble through the days, keeping on. Love to the ones that care for sick children, offering juice and tea, placing cool cloths on feverish heads, fluffing pillows and tucking in blankets. Love to the ones that pack the lunches, that launder the linens and clothes, wash the dishes, scrub the toilets, that buy the food and the clothing and the toothbrushes and then, choose a small toy or treat or longed-for thing, just because. 

Love to the ones who answer questions, who give advice, who say “I don’t know, but let’s figure it out”, who say “you can do it”, who say “no”, who say “because I’m the mama, that’s why.” 

Love to the ones who soothe hurts. Who give hugs and kisses. Who refrain from giving hugs and kisses in public because it’s embarrassing. Who see you past each heartbreak. 

Love to the ones at home with their babies, going a little bit stir-crazy, lost in a whirl of milk-diapers-nap, dreaming of taking a shower or talking with a friend or doing something, anything that makes them feel knowing and capable rather than bewildered and inept. 

Love to the ones who labor all day to provide for their children. Love to the ones who rise in the early hours for work, who carry still-sleeping kids to the neighbors’ or the sitters’ houses until it’s time for school. Love to the ones who work all night so they can see their kids in the mornings and in the evenings. Love to the ones who work part-time, at low pay with no benefits, trying to find a third way that works. 

Love to the ones who discovered unknown depths of sadness and fear during their pregnancies or after, who are struggling to return to the surface. 

Love to the ones who parent alone. 

Love to the ones who did not birth their babies, but took them in and gave them the families their birth mothers could not. 

Love to the ones who cared for their babies by giving them up because they knew they were not ready or able to mother their children all day, every day, for the rest of their lives. 

Love to those for whom this day brings pain. 

To the mothers whose babies passed on before them, who live with an ache and a void every day. Love especially to those whose babies were torn from them by unexpected violence. 

To the mothers who had their babies stolen from them by coercion or by force. Love especially to Nigerian mothers in Chibok who wait every day in sorrow and despair. 

To the children whose mothers could not or would not give them all the love they deserved, whose mothers carried an inner wound that they, in turn, used to wound their children. 

To the children whose mothers have passed on, for whom this day reminds them of loss. A missing that just goes on and on. 

Love to the mothers who, in the true spirit of this day, write letters, make phone calls, march in the streets to make a healthier, more peaceful world for all of us. 

Love to the mother beneath our feet, who gives us all life and sustains it. Who feeds us, gives us water, provides our very breaths. 


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