Sunday is Mother's Day.
The looming holiday has me thinking a lot about motherhood. I'm thinking about what we imagine motherhood is going in, what it ends up being, and how it's invariably so different for each and every one of us.
Whatever motherhood is to you, I think we can all agree that "Mom" comes in many forms, and in this post, I raise my mug of long-cooled morning coffee and salute you, mom, whoever you may be.
So, here's to new moms, exhausted and overwhelmed and struggling to comprehend how she can be so in love with someone she only just met.
Here's to the expectant mothers, the ones who count every kick, and giggle at the pear-sized baby hiccuping in her belly.
Here's to the moms who wait, those who spent hours filling out paperwork and taking classes and dreaming and praying for someone they don't even know yet. Those moms who watch the phone hoping for a call to tell them they're finally getting their baby.
Here's to mothers yet-to-be, those with hope bright in their eyes that maybe this month, it'll happen, and those for whom it did happen, but who lost their baby too soon. Stay strong and have faith... you're baby has a birthday, you just don't know what it is yet.
Here's to the mothers of toddlers who spend all day running and chasing, wiping down counters, retying shoes and kissing skinned knees. Who re-read Knuffle Bunny for the third time and crouch to clip fingernails that she's positive she just clipped days ago.
Here's to mothers of adolescents who've learned to interpret a special pre-teen language of mumbles and grunts; who walk a tightrope between the little girl who used to hold your hand and the one who never wants to come out of her room anymore.
Here's to the mother of teenagers, a saintly bunch to be sure, who keep the freezer stocked, do battle over curfew and fight to fit the last bits of wisdom into the short time you have left before your baby bird flies away.
Here's to the mothers of adult children who offer advice and pray diligently and show up and do your laundry or your dishes without you even having to tell them you needed the help.
Here's to tiger moms and members of Le Leche League. Here's to helicopter moms and room moms; those who stay home and those who work. Here's to young moms and older moms, those parenting in the city and those in a small town. Here's to moms who are strict and moms who are laid back. Here's to moms who have it totally together and moms who feel like they never catch up. Here's to step-moms who find the perfect balance between being a bonus parent and not stepping on the toes of the woman who was there first. Here's to military moms; those who keep the home fires burning while a partner is deployed or those who'll spend whole school years away from their kids to keep this country safe for the other mommies back at home. Here's to the moms who parent gracefully when faced with difficulties the rest of us can't imagine. Those moms who have children with disabilities or are faced with their own physical limitations, but get up every morning to make breakfast and care for their babies with a grace that humbles me to my core.
Here's to the mother who's never had any children of her own, but managed to encourage more than one kid into the adult he would become. Here's to the sisters, the friends, the nannies and babysitters who give us breaks and encouragement and help us to be better mommies. Here's to our partners who support and encourage us and help the kids make burnt pancakes on a Sunday in May to remind us how special we are. Here's to single mothers, who don't have a partner to make them pancakes, but deserve it more than the rest of us. Here's to the wonderful men, who are part of some of the most loving couples I know, who find a way to be all things for their kids, including mommy, in a house with only daddies.
And because this is my toast, I'll also say here's to my own mother, who is the greatest cheerleader I've ever known. Who held my hand while I pushed three babies into the world and who stayed for weeks afterward to make me pots and pots of comfort food. For my mom who drops everything to come and help when I need her and who shows up in my office with a surprise cheese plate because somehow, even at 30 years old, she senses when I'm not taking care of myself like I should. I am blessed to be cared for by you, and I hope I can make my own babies feel the same love.
Whatever kind of mom you are or mother you had, chances are, you've been affected by the love and encouragement of a special "mom" in your life. I hope you'll take this Sunday to celebrate the women who've helped you along the way be it with a burnt offering of breakfast in bed, or cards made by hand or hasty grocery store flowers at the last minute. It's an important role mom plays in your life -- don't forget to let her know.