Funny thing about mothers is they come in all manner of unlikely forms.
We like to think of the woman who gave birth to us, but for some,
there was a woman with many thoughtful reasons for parting with a baby in a selfless effort to provide a home with another woman who becomes the real mother, feeding, caring for needs, wants, supporting the details of normal living that go unnoticed until today where maybe in a sentimental Hallmark card or a child’s Mother’s Day art effort, there is a listing of the reasons and the tasks fulfilled that we appreciate in our mothers; that all of us forget to acknowledge every other day.
The descriptions of how she makes the best cookies, she holds my hair when I am sick in the middle of the night, she always hugs me when I’m sad, and the coupons for one free hug, one free empty the dishwasher, and one free take out the recycling; cards beginning in duty, filled with affection, consistent in their ending of “I love you!”
I have a mother, she loves me, she cared for me, she is quietly supportive and I love her and know she did the best she could. Like we, all of us mothers try to do.
Some days we perform and fulfill all the duties, tasks, and affections better than other days;
always we try
Today, I am thinking of so many other people that gently but strongly remind me that we all have many mothers passing in and out of our days.
The sister-n-law that believes in you when no one else does and nudges
more from you when humiliated and scared, you just want to give up, clicking the thumbs up “like” when no one else does, saving us from the loneliness of feeling a failure. Jane, never plain, always notices, always sees potential, visibly and invisibly supporting so many of us, every day.
The boss, the Conservative, the guy’s guy, who might be mistaken for not caring, he always says you can do it, always reminds you not to be too hard on yourself, he understands, and never makes you feel badly for losing your cool and crying in utter frustration. John, simply good at seeing the good in other people who may not deserve his kindness.
The cousin, teaching other people’s children for over 25 years, the wonderful woman who not having physically given birth to a baby,
dotes, cares, loves, remembers, worries when she had problems of her own. Vicki, responding to an email and always saying yes.
Always interested, laughing and lovely in thought and action.
The friend you haven’t seen in years, the genuinely good mother you commiserated with when your sons were toddlers and you often felt trapped in the muck and mundane, the sleepless everyday routines, tantrums, and joys of motherhood. Marie, sincere, hugging you at
Wal-Mart reminding in stories of similarities you aren’t the only one.
The colleague and friend who always makes you laugh, tries to give you
another perspective, so you don’t feel badly when your work is rejected. Giver of ideas and possibilities, the holder of hope who keeps trying and only asks that you do the same. Gary, saying you will be wonderful on the days you feel completely mediocre, and want to crawl in a hole.
The childhood friend you have known for as long as you’ve known yourself, whose texts and calls brighten ever day. The one person you can call and will listen through the tears, loving you in your rightness and wrongness, the happy voice on every message. “Hey Booze, It’s Nance!” Always there in the darkest of days to say it will get better.
The husband, who wants what is best for you, and always keeps trying when he may not want to try that day, whose own father wasn’t an example of love in his approach. This man who doesn’t complain about work, who volunteers for everything. Terry, often unappreciated by the sons he does so much for, and a wife who should give him more credit.
There are so many examples of mothers in our lives. So many people
we won’t give a card to today, or take to breakfast, brunch or dinner.
This annual day when we remember and regard with such clarity
The goodness and altruism in motherhood, can also be a day
when we appreciate the love and support from the people who,
never our real mothers,
nourish us, care for us, and support us like a mother does.
I am grateful for the love and support of all my unlikely sometimes mothers.
I love you all even if not named this time.
And I ask everyone who may read this, “Who are yours?”
3 thoughts on “Essay in Regard for the Other Mothers in My Life”
Feeling very honored on this Mother’s Day even though I am not a “mother” . I have always tried to care about my kiddos at school, maybe too much at times, maybe because I am not a “birth” mother. Thank you for including me in your thoughts…
The physical aspect of motherhood is the least of its qualifications and the simplest of its challenges. It does not count for what counts!
The one thing that each mother must come to understand, is that the “voice”, vocabulary, and personality of each child takes many years to articulate gratitude. The chemistry between mother and each child is different. the whole dynamic of motherhood is individual. When an astrologer reads a mother’s chart, and the chart of each of her children in contrast and comparison, a whole new dynamic of understanding the “motherhood” contract with each child is the lesson and the journey of motherhood.