The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.
I knew that motherhood would change me.
Or at least I knew that it would re-order my priorities.
What I didn't know was that it would re-order my soul.
I didn't know that in lending my body to my babies I would surrender my very being to a process unfathomably larger than myself.
I didn't know that in so doing, I would find faith. And Faith.
I didn't know that along with my babies' births would come a vulnerability that would settle permanently in my heart.
That although the physical scars would heal, the karmic chasm would remain open and raw -- letting in the extremes of the joy and pain of this life as a mother -- unfiltered, unadulterated, unmitigated.
What I didn't know was that loving my babies would be the greatest gift imaginable.
To those who mother slowly, thoughtfully, cautiously and to those who throw themselves headlong into the messy, sticky, torturous sweetness of it all without ever looking back,
To those who keep a strict schedule and to those who don't keep a strict anything at all,
To those who home-school and to those who are relieved to see the yellow bus in the morning,
To those who sing in the choir and to those who pray quietly every night at their babies' bedsides,
To those who bake for hours and to those who stop at the bakery on the way home from work,
To those who hold their children close and to those who can't wait to meet the children who will become their own -- knowing they are out there somewhere, waiting to come home,
To those who mother intuitively and to those who over-analyze each and every decision they make,
To those who write their stories and to those who read them,
To those who have lived through the unfathomable pain of losing a child and to those whose hearts are with them.
To those who shout from the sidelines and to those who coach the team,
To those who pray that someday their child can BE on a team,
To those who have children with special needs and to those who teach their children respect and compassion for those who do,
To those whose children can say, "Thank you, Mom," with words and to those whose children don't yet have words and yet say just that -- and so much more -- every day,
To those who testify before congress about autism and the support that the community so desperately needs and to those who work for months to summon the courage to talk to one neighbor about their child's differences,
To those who change the world simply by showing their children the rewards of a life lived with empathy and love, respect and appreciation for their fellow human beings,
To those who know what it means to be reborn a mother,
A very, very Happy Mother's Day.
The preceding was originally posted on my blog, Diary of a Mom on Mother's Day, 2010.