Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day

The other day I looked up the origins of Mother's Day.  (Just cuz I was feeling super-nosy.)  Back in 1905, Anna Jarvis started this movement to honor her mother.  Anna's mom was this kick-butt chick who had lived her life in service to others.  She was a peace activist who nursed soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.  President Wilson signed into law that the second Sunday in May would be "Mother's Day" and celebrated nationally.  It wasn't long before the card and candy companies started capitalizing on this and marketing Mother's Day to their own financial ends.  (As they sometimes like to do.)  That really ticked Anna off.  She even went ballistic - crashing a candymaker's convention in Philly in 1923.  All she wanted, was for each of us to take pause for one day a year and honor the women who brought us all into this world.  Who had selflessly lived their lives in service to others - us, their children. 

As a mom, I appreciate this.  I naively thought when my first child was born, that I was going to be one of those moms who didn't let their child change them.  That my life would still be my own.  I quickly found out how impossible that was.  For the past 13 years, I have willingly put the needs of my children ahead of my own.  I've put their wants first.  Nursed their hurts.  Celebrated their successes.  Cried in private, for pains that I couldn't remove.  Gone without sleep - or bathing.  Watched the same program 100 times in a row.  Fought for doctors appointments and diagnoses.  Argued with school officials for programs my son needed.  With the birth of my first child, I did not just become a mother.  I became a warrior for my children. 

In their youth, it's easy.  They're your babies and they need you to advocate for them.  They need your strength to build their own backbones on.  They need you to teach them morals and values and compassion.  To show them how to live a good, responsible life.  To catch them when they fall.  To salve their boo-boo's with your kisses and loving mom-arms.  With my teenager, I'm walking a much harder road.  It's hard now, when to know to step in and protect him, and when to let him step up and protect himself.  Watching my baby wobble out there on his own two feet and experience the world first hand - and not through the eyes of a child - is 10x more difficult than teaching him how to walk or talk or use the toilet.  You can't do all that without undergoing a complete metamorphosis. 

So, in honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, I made this card.

However you choose to spend Mother's Day - either for yourself or that lucky chick who brought you into this world - remember to breathe it all in.  Your children as they are today.  Perfect, just the way you made them.

Happy Mother's Day.

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