It takes more than than one woman to fully raise a child and Mother’s Day weekend has me thinking a lot about that.
At the center is my own Mom, the woman who opened her heart to adoption and made someone else’s baby her own. She encouraged me when I was down, told me to wipe my tears and stand strong, building resilience in the process. She planted the first seeds of faith and watched them grow deep roots and high reaching branches. My Mom taught me right from wrong, led our family through six moves in the course of my childhood, with house hunting, school hunting, doctor and dentist hunting, and encouraging her kids through the adjustments every time. She stood in the shadow of my father’s limelight, both professionally and at home where he was the “fun one.” And none of that was easy. To you, Mom, I blow a kiss to heaven. There are no words for my gratitude and how much I miss you today and every day.
Then there’s my mothering circle, a supporting cast of other women whose influence changed my life in varying ways. I’m sure you have one, too.
Mine starts with the eighteen year old girl, pregnant too soon in a high school romance, who gave birth and then gave her baby up on a prayer for a better life. What an incredible, selfless gift. There’s Mrs. Connolly, my high school teacher, who treated me like family and was a guiding force through the bumpy road of adolescence. You shaped me in those formative years in ways that remain today. There are my parents’ friends who taught me by example in my growing years: Mrs. Reaume and Mrs. Ronayne, strong, loving women who were like second moms. In adulthood, there are friends who have put their arms around me, mothered and comforted me when my parents’ died, when my worries about life and marriage and kids ran high, who were there for me in countless ways. To you all, my appreciation is very deep.
I hope your children and my sons will have the same circle of support as they grow and that other women will reach them when we moms can’t because whatever form mothering takes, and whomever offers it, it is a precious gift.
Who do you hold dear in the circle of women who have nurtured you, encouraged you, guided you? This is their day, too, because it takes more than one woman to mother a child.
Happy Mother’s Day, with love and gratitude from this mama’s heart to yours.