Monday, May 10, 2010

Day After Mother's Day

So did you all have a good Mother's Day? I hope so. If I'd gotten on this blog sooner, I'd have wished you one, so consider yourself belatedly wished a happy mother's day!

What did you do to celebrate? I had a good day here - we went out for dinner with the grown children who live near enough and their children. So there were 14 of us at Applebee's for lunch. I love being together with all of my children (or as many as possible). What a good day. And for a gift, my children all went together and bought me a peach tree! I am excited about that!

As wonderful as this day can be sometimes, there are two groups that I think about on Mother's Day who I think must ache as we celebrate: the women who long to be mothers but aren't, and the children whose mothers abandoned or otherwise seriously let them down.

It is important for us to celebrate; it is important for us to honor mothers. Where would the human race be without mothers in general, and where would we each be without our mothers in particular? And what kind of people would we become if we stopped saying thank you? It's good for us to take a day now and then to think about the people who helped us get where we are today. It's not like any one of us made it on our own.

But as we mothers are honored, how do the women feels who desperately wish to have children but have none? I know their hearts ache. Mother's Day can be very hard for them.

I think we need to honor the heart of mothering. Women who mother the children of others in so may ways, showing unconditional love... those women deserve honor too. Teachers and choir directors and childcare workers, and the neighbor down the street who loves on the kids after school... they show a mother's love the children in their world, and they deserve praise for that. So on Mother's Day I wish a Happy Day to all the Mothers and to all who have mothered in their own way. If I get a chance, I give my rose to the young woman with the heart of a mother who waits with tears through months of infertility treatments, and when she says she doesn't deserve it, I tell her yes she does, and I explain why. Mothering is about the heart.

But what about the kids whose mothers have left them, or kids who feel abandoned by their mothers? Kids who live with mothers who don't show a mother's love? Or kids who don't even know their mothers? Or kids whose mothers have died and they are still grieving? These kids are around us, and on Mother's Day they say nothing. They have no one to thank, to praise, to honor, while we celebrate. We don't see them because they are quiet on this day.

This must be a hard day for them. (Same as Father's Day is for those who don't know or have deep issues with their fathers.) We need to be sensitive, not in a way that diminishes the respect and appreciation we need to show for our mothers on this day, but somehow we need to try and not make it worse for these kids. Hard to balance that. I don't know how to do that. Do you have any thoughts? 'Cause I could use some practical ideas here.

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