Sam’s drawing above is a remarkable likeness! Best line from the other part of the project: My mom is beautiful because: she is herself. Biggest uh-oh line from the project: My mom loves: klening (cleaning)*. Line that tells me we’re alright: I love my mom because: she kudels( cuddles) with me.
My first sentence to him today was something like this; “Thanks to you I get to celebrate today! Thanks to you and Tea for bringing this amazing gift of motherhood into my arms…” while I was squishing him tight. Marcel was upstairs (successfully) begging Uncle on my behalf to bring down a cup of coffee for Mama in bed.
I hold in my heart his first mom as much today, as I do on his birthday. (She is in our thoughts all the days of course.) I am so thankful for the ease in our exchanges. For the possibility of a trip across the country to visit her next year. I hope that the card Sam picked out, colored all over, and wrote in eases his not being there with her today. I have no idea if such a thing is possible though. My joy today, comes from her loss. My joy comes from circumstances that made it not possible for her to mother her son. Circumstances that made it possible for me to choose to mother mine.
I value and acknowledge my own mom, and all the ways in which her choices, sacrifices, and shifts are embedded in my cells allowing me to be the showing up, take it on, I’ll not back down from the challenge Mama I am. She loved her (Snapfish notebook with pictures of the kids on it) gift, and if we are all fortunate will use it to begin writing down moments of her life she wants to record!
I reach out to mamas everywhere who are not going to be able to parent with any certainty that their children will have fresh water, warmth, or nourishment on any given day. I support programs like UNICEF and Save and Children International to contribute as I can. I share articles like this NYT piece which asks us to move beyond celebrating the one, and to empowering the many.
I have amazing support (my brother is doing the post breakfast dishes with my sons as I type!) unlike many single mothers by circumstance or choice. Today, I consider all of the women who share this honor with me, and recommit to promoting all the ways that single mothers can and will be heralded as Herculean joy giving caretakers, multi-taskers and vibrant members of their community. To that end in April I was a guest speaker on the radio show The Mom Hour co-hosted by Issa Mas of My Single Mama. To listen to that show, you can click Mom Hour 04 01 11.
To the expectant, the waiting, the grieving, and the hoping. To the relinquishing, the yearning and the wondering. To all of you who are struggling in the moments of overwhelming no, and taking immeasurable joy in each quite or raucous yes : Happy Day of Mothers. Mothering. Happy Day of Doing Enough, beautifully.
* his fantastic rationale for this: Well I bounce a ball as much as you clean, and I love to bounce a ball.