It is said that there is no job like that of a mother’s.  All partiality aside, I’d have to agree, from both view points … as a daughter and a mother.  Some of the sweetest memories I have are of my beautiful mother ushering me into kindergarten, conversations over the juiciness of pears and her careful obliging of my early ideas of baking.  As I grew, I lost touch with the idea that she was one of two people that would fiercely protect and defend me and like a bird longing to fly, I pushed my way out of the nest only to find a craving for it later in life.  That woman grew in me a desire to parent both like her and desperately different and yet the older I get the more I see how right she was in so many things, especially that of her "err on the side of over loving” way.  As I work to raise my three kiddos, not one day goes by without my wishing I could  pick up the phone for advice or her friendly ear.  And there weren’t enough days that I told her or showed her that she mattered most.  It is natural, in life, to lean away at times, after all it is what we mothers raise our kiddos for, the days they'll be on their own.  We don't desire to hold our small people back and yet it's so bittersweet when they take their first steps, both literally and figuratively.  I know that I will sit with both a great pride and a heaviness as I watch my eldest walk to receive her high school diploma this May.  And it takes me back, back to the moments I wish I had held my Mom a little longer, thanked her for her love over me and apologized for the many times I was completely heinous.

So it is in that expression that I wanted to honor Mommas this year.  I wanted to take a few minutes to document what that relationship is, in its complication of individual relationships and idiosyncrasies and its mistakes and its beauty.  Giving birth is the easy part of parenting and I realize that "Mom" isn’t always just the woman who delivered you or who raised you, it’s also the woman or women that have helped along the way.  I have seen that greatly as I have had the pleasure of women, my own sisters included, young and old, embrace my kiddos in the absence of grandmothers, many of whom do not have biological children themselves but of whom I consider mothers alongside me.  

What is "Mom" to you?  Maybe she is the woman who wasn't quite ready for you, or the one who reared you entirely on her own, she could be the woman who endured much to protect you, the woman who struggles with her role, sometimes she is the woman whose children reside in heaven.  Perhaps she IS the woman who carried you, she might be the woman who longed for you for years, who chose you and she could be the woman who raises you side by side another, stoic in her love and loyalty, sometimes she is even the woman who did not live under the same roof but impacted you more than the very woman you share genetics with, maybe there is no description for you ... she just is.  Regardless, the words "Mom" or "Moms" are utterly undefinable, they go many ways … Simply put, her worth can not be measured and the weight of her heart can never be calculated, she makes mistakes, undoubtedly, but her love is fierce and unyielding.  I challenge you this year to see mothers differently.  To look beyond definitions, perceptions or lines, judgements or errs, to look at "Mom", this Mother's Day, in a new light, to consider each "her" in all her beautiful, fallible, human form and to value those women in your life or your children's lives who love so generously on you ... you won't regret it! :) ~ B 

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