Moms. We look nothing alike. Yet we all know the fierce love that comes with the territory. We don’t always give birth to our children. Sometimes they come to us in other ways. These children of ours. Whether we birthed them or not, there are times they piss us off so royally we can’t see straight. Other times they make us so happy and proud we’re brought to tears of gratitude that they are ours.
When our babies are small we hold them close, make them laugh, nurture them with food, attention, love, music. We share with them what is important to us so they will appreciate the people we are and embrace our values.
Our children get all of us. Our love, our anger, our admiration, our courage, our passion, our irritation; the best and worst we have to offer. They know us in ways we don’t know ourselves. If you want a reality check, ask your kids what they see when they look at you. You will learn that they sense your sadness when you’re going through a hard time. They share your joy when you’re feeling on top of the world. Kids will tell it to you straight, man. Don’t ask unless you’re ready to get real.
We moms are like reverse-Terminators, relentless in our quest to raise our children into humans we can be proud of. We feel the unending responsibility to keep them safe, fed, warm, comforted, educated, happy. But they better say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’ and use their words, dammit. We taught them that. And you know the thing they do where they’re better behaved around other people than around us? Well, all I can say is, thank God for that!
To every mom who has stayed up all night with a barfing child. To the moms who remember where blankie is when the kid has a melt-down at bedtime and can’t sleep without it. Who have put that sixth band aid on because that darn kid keeps pulling them off so he can get a new band aid. To moms everywhere who keep preparing food for their children, every day, not because they feel like cooking, but because they care too much about their children’s health not to. For the moms who are struggling to provide food for their kids and go without so the little ones will have enough.
To all the moms who get up and keep doing this mom thing every, every day: you are the ultimate gift to your children. Please never forget that this mom thing you do means the world to the people who are most precious to you. They’ll never tell you, of course. You have to remember this for them also. Still, carry in your heart the knowledge of the mom super power you wield: you make your children feel loved like no one else on earth ever will.