Happy day of the mother to all of you mommies! To the biological mom’s, the adoptive mom’s, the mom’s of spirit, support and encouragement, the mother’s who have never given birth, but know how to mother, the dog moms, the cat moms, and ok, the guinea pig moms too, the moms who’ve gone onto a better place, where there is endless blue skies and no whining.
Mothering is a special talent, which has not a thing to do with your womb. Those who do it well know how to love with compassion–unconditionally and truthfully. They are fearless and good at making the hard decisions and disseminating massive hugs when needed. They know how to stand silently in support, and cheer loudly when celebration is in order. Despite exhaustion, they are tirelessly right there. And like we all know, showing up is at least half of it.
People often say things like, “I miss my mom every day.” And it sounds ridiculous and a little bit contrived and completely impossible. But I am one of those people. And it surprises me, but I have actually thought of my mom, Luigina Constantina Gabriela Rotello Friedman every day since she has been gone–more than 25 years ago. She was loving and funny and spunky. She had grit and grace and an eternal optimism. She was beach and garlic and grateful. Her Italian roots run through me and her fight to move forward in the face of gloom are always reminding me to do the same. She was, in short, everything and I will never quite get over that my kids never got a chance to meet her.
But I see her sometimes in my daughter’s laugh, in my son’s nimble ability to talk to virtually anybody. I see her in the mirror a lot lately, as my aging face reminds me of hers.
For me, becoming a mom has been like getting a PhD in humanity and humility. I am at once bowled over to have gotten the role, and shocked at its immensity and complexity. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating, no matter what I do or have ever done, it is nothing compared to being a mother to my two my kids.
To all mothers, wherever you are, whoever you are, however you found yourself in the role, pat yourself on the back today and know that you are loved. And know, that in our crazier and crazier world, your light is needed more than ever.