My husband asks what I want for Mother’s Day. Breakfast in bed, time alone, chocolate, wine, dinner, flowers? Of course I want all these things, but none of them really captures what is in my heart this Mother’s Day. Perhaps I am feeling a bit wistful because I just put away the winter clothes that my youngest has outgrown, or I am exhausted from another sleepless night or exhilarated from the growth spurt that seems to be measurable in inches before my eyes. Maybe I am basking in the kisses of two amazing boys, or drowning in the bathtub that won’t ever get clean, or lost in laundry or stunned by the newest phrase that came out of one of their mouths.
Maybe it is a combination of all these things, but when I think of Mother’s Day, I can’t seem to stay focused on myself. Rather, I find myself feeling a communal connection with women all over the world. Women who live down the street from me who I know, at this moment, are having the same silly discussion with their preschoolers about poop that I am having. Women who live in my town who I know will be up at 2:30 with me giving tender kisses to little ones. Women who live across the country or across the world who no doubt have the same tears and fears and smiles and joys that I do when it comes to this thing called motherhood.
For me, this year, motherhood is about the sisterhood. It is about all the women for hundreds of generations who have laughed and cried with their children and with each other. The women who have whispered sweet goodnights into the ears of little ones and screamed on behalf of their children and left blood and sweat and tears along the path to ensure that their children had it one step better than they did. For me, this year, motherhood is about all of you: The mamas who have come before me and those who are walking with me and those who will face the same path long after I am gone. Because whether I know you and cry with you or not, whether you are a close friend or a distant thought, the stream of motherhood consciousness holds us together.
There is a collective power that mothers seem to hold, embrace and create. And, although at times it can feel like I am trudging down the path of motherhood alone, with no one but a small child to talk to, I can always stop and draw on the millions of mothers around the world that are my sisters. I know that in their hearts they understand me, even if they don’t know me. In their hearts they have been where I am. No matter what I feel or think or experience, another mother is thinking or experiencing the same thing.
Sometimes I sit and watch my children and feel a surge in my heart so strong that I cannot imagine how I can live through it. I cannot dream of how I could ever express what I feel or explain to anyone else just how much I love these small people I am mothering. Sometimes I sit and hold my child against my skin and wonder if I could ever put into words the emotions that I feel for him. The joy, the fear, the dreams, the wonder. The immense ball of emotion that pulses through my heart and veins and out my pores. And then I realize, I don’t have to put it into words. I don’t have to try to explain it. Because mothers everywhere feel the same thing. We are united in this indescribable emotion, and, in that, we are forever sisters.
So here is to you, my sisters around the world, my sisters throughout time. Here is to all the mothers everywhere that share in my experience of this amazing journey.
So, do I want to sleep in? Eat chocolate? Go to brunch? Heck, yeah. Because I wouldn’t turn any of those down any day of the year. But in my heart, Mother’s Day this year is so much more. I am eternally grateful to my children on this Mother’s Day for allowing me to have such a connection with amazing women everywhere. Whether our children are newborn or grown, whether we have one child or ten children, we can find solace in each other and in the common path our hearts take. It is amazing and precious and scary and encompassing and passionate and vital and true. It is motherhood, and it is ours.
Happy Mother’s Day.