I sit WIDE AWAKE in a dried marinade of yesterday’s hot-and-sweaty, as it is now a tolerable 70°F…need to clean things now that it’s tolerably cool to do so. A few words first.
Mother’s Day…what photo to use?
I scrolled through my photos…
I have so many dear women in my life who have so long spoken into my life and who have helped me become the woman I am (and some of my many quirks were yours first).
I also have so many dear children I love as my own.
Then there are twenty-three years of guinea pigs.
What to pick?
How about this one?
Because the ultimate reality for any mother is that — though your children hopefully remain a part of your life for the rest of your life — this “motherhood” thing is really just a stewardship assignment. There are children you carry, there are children who pass into your life at various stages and places. A friend of mine sent me a message last night thaning me for sending her a Mother’s Day card. I sent her a thoughtful and personal reply (which has no place here), and my conclusion to her was:
“All I know is that — whatever your situation or station in this life — God sends you the people you need and the people who need you. We’re probably a mix of that on both sides (as friendships so often are). Blessed and thankful that you are my friend. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.”
People in my situation understand “not yours” a bit better than many. Children if my own issue are — for various reasons — a past-tense consideration at this point. That door is now closed. Yet I have spent a good portion of my life helping to raise other people’s children (maybe yours among them) — the ultimate in “not mine.”
(Please think about that the next time, instead of unintentionally marginalizing us into a weird limbo…we understand, we pretend not to notice, but we like birthday parties and baseball games and dance recitals too; there is a dark place called “you don’t have children, you don’t understand” that is a place people like me have never been but are informed it’s a place we belong…don’t go there either.)
I’m not really sure there is “nothing in the world like a mother’s love” — adoption proves this. Love is love, and can exist very well and in great depth apart from a biological connection (and sometimes even on a greater level because one is more likely to recognize a God-giving blessing and less-likely to take such a blessing foor granted).
But what the Pieta speaks to me is the ultimate in “not yours.” The question is whether or not each of us has what it takes to give up what we hold most dear and precious — our children — because it is what God requires of us? (and he doesn’t need to give a reason) I’ve written on this variously, most notably here.
Don’t hold too tightly, share your children with those who love them and will enrich their lives, and love the people God sends you…however they come (be open to this).
Love to the mothers in my world, but very sad I won’t get to spend any time with this one today (couldn’t resist, she’ll get a proper post soon!).
Sleeping babies, clockwise from upper left, are: Frederick, Harville, Sophie, and Benwick.
Happy Mother’s Day!!!