Saturday, May 11, 2013


I arrived at the front door step of Sloane’s daycare at the same time as another mom who was also picking up her wee one. We gave each other big ‘yay we are about to see our babies’ smiles, and I watched her face as she greeted her baby when Cathy brought him out to her. She was beaming so much it was as if the sun lived inside her head. Her voice went up an octave, her shoulders scrunched inwards and her arms reached out to take him into her. The baby’s face came alive when he saw her coming for him and this filled her up, I could see it. Sloane was next, and when she came around the corner in Cathy’s arms, I felt my heart lift, mind buzz, and body shift towards her, involuntarily mirroring what I had just seen happen next to me.

Growing up, my friend Jackie* had never wanted kids.  I remember when she called me to tell me that she was pregnant, her voice sounded bewildered but happy.  I remember her talking about post-partem depression. I remember her telling me stories of how funny and smart her girls were. I remember her telling me that she would watch how other moms interacted with their children and how she felt like she wasn’t a good mom, that she didn’t even know if she knew how to be a good mom, that she didn’t know if she wanted to be one.  I remember hearing my friend talk to her children and thinking that I was seeing a brilliant side of her that I’ve never seen before. I remember how proud she was of how well the girls were adjusting to the change, how grown up they seemed even at 4 and 5 years old, and how heartbroken she was about not being able to see them.  I remember her wondering about what they would think of her as a mom when they were all grown.

Growing up, my friend Lana* had always wanted kids.  Many years later, she doesn’t have one yet, but she is surrounded by them, gaggles of them, and she mothers them like they are her own. She as a lot of love to give and even without a baby, she has a mother’s heart, and I know she already feels like a mom to the child that she will one day have. 

Claire* is pretty much a mom in her own right because even though her boyfriend’s children have their own mom,    Claire wakes up extra early to take them to school, celebrates birthdays, drives them to activities, takes them on trips, talks them through decisions, worries about them, and has brought them into the folds of who she is, seamlessly.

Bridget* is pregnant and it is her first so she is racked with excitement, worries, fears, joys, and nausea. This is the biggest and greatest thing that she has had to wait for in her entire life, and she thinks about how at the same time her baby is born, she is going to be reborn into a new kind of a person, a mother. 

My mother-in-law can clean a kitchen like no one else’s business; it’s a work of art. She has a giant heart, especially for her children and granddaughter, and she is diligent about taking care of her own mother. She raised two children that turned out to be wonderful and compassionate people, and I attribute a lot of my husband’s good qualities to her mothering. I am grateful to her for that, and I am grateful that she loves me like I am part of her family.
One of the many things that they don’t tell you about being a mom is that when your children grow up and leave to go live their own lives, you have to relearn what it means to be a mom in that new context.  You may also have to find yourself again (yes, it seems we are forever losing and finding ourselves), you may have extra time to reflect on your regrets and hopes, and you are also still trying to best mother your three grown children who live too far away.  My mom is a force to be reckoned with and her openness and authenticity in living out her journey inspires her three daughters.  Just like a mom should, I think.   

Happy Mother’s Day.



  1. I missed your call this morning while I was in worship service.
    I attended two different church service and heard two good parent's day sermon.
    After that we shared joy of talking about our proud children with the pastor who preached and his wife.

  2. how nice these letters were. add one more for you!