Word(s) to my mother:
strength, bravery, compassion, wisdom, love, support, creativity, generosity, optimism, humor
When I was a young(er) and (more) cantankerous girl, I made a proclamation: I don’t want to have kids. Frankly, I was like 13, so really, in terms of what I “wanted” I did not know shit, but I made the assertion. With vehemence and regularity. When I try to recall the inspirations behind my younger thoughts I am often met with a sort of hazy familiarity that suggests with deeper concentration I could pull myself back to that earlier consciousness, but I think that is probably pretty unlikely. Sometimes I wonder if I was just saying it to be “alternative” or if it was a response to my understanding of what a pain in the ass I might be… or if really, I sort of knew that I was honestly not compelled to breed. Make no mistake, I adore kids. I am constantly blown away by the amazing little people who my friends have created and encouraged and allowed me to be a part of in myriad ways. But try as I might, I can never muster up some sense of absence or lack or an incompleteness when I think about the fact that I do not have my own children.
Perhaps I was a smarter 13-year-old than I thought and I just used the wrong verb, saying ‘want’ when I meant ‘need’. [However, I also do not think that (everyone) has kids because they feel a need or compulsion to do so.] Regardless of my own maternal status, on Mother’s Day I am always very grateful for all the mother’s I know, especially my own.
On Mother’s Day, I remember how lucky I have been to have the mother I do, the grandmother’s I have, and the other mom’s who have been there for me over the years. I look at my friends with immeasurable admiration and love for the wonderful parents they are. I recall the lessons these women have shared with me about all the ways we can be a woman, a mother, a sister, an auntie, whether we have children or not.
Mother’s Day reminds me to grateful, but most of all it makes me very proud to be a woman and somehow a part of this sisterhood without which, we’d have nothing.
Thank you, mom.
I love you.
This is dedicated to my momma, my grandmas, my aunties and, among many others, Marcia J., Carol C., Cynthia, Jill M-K., Rennie, Anna M., Erica P., Mara, Kerry, Adele, Amy Z., Kelly C-W, Joan, Nickie A., and a new generation of moms, my students: Celia C., Danielle W., Tamie T., Liz A., Danielle A., Laura A.