For Mothers

This is for all the mothers who deserve to be
Mother of the Year.
It's for those who win and for those who don't --
all the runners-up and all the wannabes --
the mothers too tired to enter
or too busy to care about winning a contest.

This is for the mothers who have sat up
all night holding sick toddlers in their arms,
rocking them, stroking their hair, and saying,
"It's OK, Honey.  Mommy's here."

This is for the mothers who gave birth
to babies they'll never see, and for the mothers
who became "Mom" to those babies.

This is for the mothers who run carpools
and make cookies and volunteer for book sales
and sew Halloween costumes...
and it's for the mothers who don't.

This is for all the mothers who sat down
with their children and explained all about
making babies, and for all the mothers
who wanted to but just couldn't.

This is for the mothers who froze
while sitting on metal bleachers during Friday night soccer games, so when their kids asked,
"Did you see my goal?"
they could say, "Of course!
I wouldn't have missed it for the world!"
- and mean it.

This is for the mothers
who read their child's favorite book
every night for a year,
and then read it again...just one more time.

What makes a good mother, anyway?
Is it patience?  Compassion?
Is it the ability to feed an infant, cook dinner,
and help with math homework
all at the same time?
Or is it what's in her heart?

Is it the ache she feels when she watches
her son or daughter disappear down the street,
walking to school alone for the very first time?
The jolt that takes her from sleep to dread,
from bed to crib at 2 a.m.,
to put her hand on a sleeping baby?

Is it the desire to flee from wherever she is
and hug her child when she hears news of
a school shooting, a fire, a car accident,
any child in distress?

This is for all the mothers who "messed up",
but tried so hard not to.
It's for all the mothers who have
doubted their decisions, and made some
they wish they hadn't, simply because
they didn't have the luxury
of being able to see into the future.

This is for all the mothers
who show up at work with spit-up in their hair
and milk stains on their blouses
and diapers in their purses.

This is for all the mothers
who taught their sons to cook
and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
It's for the mothers who taught their daughters
to tie their shoelaces before they started school
and for those who opted for Velcro instead.

This is for all the mothers
whose heads turn automatically when a little
voice in a crowd calls "Mom?" -- even though
they know their own offspring are at home.

This is for the mothers
who put pinwheels and teddy bears
on their children's graves.
It's for the mothers
whose children have gone astray
and they can't find the words to reach them.

This is for young mothers stumbling through
diaper changes and sleep deprivation,
for mature mothers learning to let go,
and for mothers who remember how that felt.
It's for working mothers
and stay-at-home mothers;
for single mothers and married mothers.
This is for mothers
in every place and in every circumstance.

This is for every mother
who knows how it feels to love her child.

- Text adapted from work by an unknown author -


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