It’s Mother’s Day again.
That one day a year when all-things-motherly are celebrated with fresh flowers, expensive brunch food, or presents handmade at school and scrunched into backpacks.
The day when the most frequently heard phrase is all I want is a hug and a kiss, that’s all.
But for those of us lucky enough to be amongst the celebrated? We know when our Mother’s Day really was.
It was that day when your child was first placed in your arms; when you joined the ranks of that special sorority with initiation rites that rival no other. The Crown of Motherhood firmly placed on your head, for everyone around to see and admire.
This was your Mother’s Day.
And every day since.
Maybe you gave birth to this baby of your own body, after months of morning sickness, bloating, and sleepless nights. Or maybe for years you’ve been conjuring this heavenly creature in your head, waiting for him to be available on this earth and born of your heart.
It doesn’t matter. It’s the love for a child that makes a mother what she is.
Not just a single day.
And from that day forward, you are irrevocably a Mom. A badge-wearing member of the toughest group of human beings any playground bully or neighborhood prank-puller could ever face.
We wear our badges both visibly and hidden; in stretch marks, spit stains, frown lines, tears at recitals, bruised egos, and tiny pieces of our own broken hearts when things don’t go right for our children.
We make mistakes and we make amends.
Every day of the year.
We strive to be that perfect mom, hoping against hope somewhere deep inside that she doesn’t really exist.
And even if she did, we might not like her very much.
We try and model things like compassion, caring, kindness, and morality while simultaneously teaching them to use a fork, tie their shoes, suck through a straw, and tell time.
A more complicated job description can’t be written.
Sometimes the most difficult tasks of motherhood are the things you don’t do.
Like the first time you let her walk to school alone, and you don’t follow her in your car.
Or the time he screws up a school project and has to figure out a way to make it work at the last minute, all by himself.
Or when you know that sometimes a boy just needs to do something important with his dad, not his mom. So you step aside.
And when you are new to this club, this sorority of mothers, it’s easy to be so consumed with the day-in-day-out nature of the job that you miss the big picture. That one day all too soon, these tasks of nurturing and teaching, of modeling and repeating, of scolding and crying will all finally lead to the point they were intended to.
Your child will be an adult.
Which really, is the end goal of this whole parenting gig anyway.
To raise a competent, respectful, compassionate, and kind individual who’s capable of going off into the world without you. Able to make decisions for themselves, to fix what isn’t working, to make a difference, to matter to other people.
The way they matter to you.
So we moms may be the only ones who know that Mother’s Day is really every day.
Each and every day from that very first time you held them.
But don’t tell the kids; I think they’re making me breakfast.