Mother’s Day 2020. I was remembering just yesterday my very first Mother’s Day in 1990. I was pregnant with my first child. After ten years of marriage I was finally pregnant and grateful beyond words.
We had gathered with my parents and my youngest brother after church to go to lunch. I remember as we were leaving the restaurant, the wait staff handing my mother a rose, and then they handed one to me. I was a little surprised. I wasn’t a mother yet, I thought, as I mumbled something to that effect, I was only expecting. I was assured by those around me that yes, I was a mother, and this was indeed my first Mother’s Day.
It did not seem right to me at the time, thinking that I hadn’t earned the right to that title. I hadn’t put in the sleepless nights while tending to a newborn or nursing a sick child. I hadn’t worried over the hurt feelings of a child who had been left out of a game or a party. I hadn’t spent any nights as of yet, pretending to sleep until I heard my teenager come in from a night out. I hadn’t done any of those things, and yet, I was a mother.
And then I thought of all those women who longed so desperately to become a mother and it never manifested as the years rolled by and the clock ticked on. I had been there myself for those ten long years full of heartache and dreams. And that’s when I knew that being a mother wasn’t about putting in the time or bringing a baby into the world. It was more about pouring into the life of a child regardless if you were the birth mother, a relative or someone who chose to love a child just because.
I was a part of a prayer group on Friday via Zoom of course, and one of the participants prayed a prayer over mothers-all women really, whether they were ever pregnant or gave birth to a child. The words spoken resonated as I remembered…
It may or may not take a village to raise a child, but it does take a willing heart, an open mind and a decision to love as a mother does–with her whole heart.