It’s forgetting that it’s always a choice that can trip us up.
Yes, some days are inherently booked with better things than others. Some days have all the makings of the seven rings of hell, filled with plans that flip on the anxiety alarm, set off a fire of fear, prompt one to not just get back under the covers, but under the bed.
But when we remember that there’s a choice we have in how we process, things that can feel bleak can take on an air of okay-ness. I’m not saying it’s time to schedule a parade when you have a scary medical thing, or you lose someone close, or you are worried about the state of the world (I’d be worried about you if you weren’t), I’m just saying to take a look at how you choose to experience a situation. Often when you can look at things with an eye toward hope, a dose of gratitude and a feeling of possibility, those things can feel better than expected.
Today I choose. Everyday I choose. This is the win. Buckets of gratitude for that.
My mother’s been gone for a very long time. Since before I had kids, or was even a real grown up. She was, as Christina said to Mere long ago on old school Grey’s Anatomy, my person. Death doesn’t change that. She’s still a North Star for me, guiding me when I’m hopelessly lost. “Be positive,” she’d say. “Put two feet in one shoe and march,” she’d say. “Talk to everybody (she was as good as a NYT reporter in getting the deepest secrets from anybody), use garlic, eat good food, you can do anything it is you want to do, you’ll figure it out, go shopping, watch a movie, wear nail polish, go to the beach, LAUGH AS MUCH AS YOU FUCKING CAN,”
I have never stopped needing her and she has never stopped being there for me. Because mothering is a slew of things, but one of them is being right there to emotionally connect in that moment when someone is in need of some major care.
So many people have taken over for my mom, over the years. And that’s really how it is, there are like, a million mamas out there who show up for you when you need some major mothering. Relatives, friends, teachers, neighbors. A few weeks ago it was the great guy in the meat department at Whole Foods. Sometimes it’s an understanding co-worker, or the person behind the counter at CVS. When you get right down to it, good mothering can come from anybody.
So, here’s to you, all of you who take the time to listen, care and help someone who needs some mom time. Here’s to the biological moms, the adoptive moms, the single moms. Your job is endless, timeless and selfless. It’s of the utmost importance in this crazy world we’re living in. You are a beacon, a model, a VIP to those who receive your momminess.
I am so damn grateful for my own mom who gave me the grit to go when I didn’t want to and the grace to laugh at the rest. I am also grateful to the women and men who have mothered me when I became motherless. You are noticed, appreciated and loved. Happy Mother’s Day to all. You know who you are. Pat yourself on the back and make something with garlic in it.