To the children whose moms have passed (whether recently or not) and who feel motherless?
I open my arms and heart to you and will grieve with you instead of celebrating.
To the women who are unable to have children and who weep for their imagined lives?
I open my arms and heart to you and weep with you.
To the women who have taken in the children of others to act as a positive female role model and/or mother figure?
I honor your role in the life of a child who needed you and thank you for giving so graciously of yourself.
To the women who have lost babies or children?
I send hope that you are recognized for being a mother, and I know in my heart that you are an amazing mother.
To the mothers who have nontypical children?
I send you fortitude so that you know that even when you most question yourself, you have a reserve of the things you need to be able to still summon the best version of yourself despite wanting to do nothing more than crawl into bed.
To the mothers of all children?
I love you as the sisters we are in this weird wacky experience of motherhood.
Mom, mama, madre, mommy, mother. These words come loaded with meanings and memories. For some of us, those meanings and memories are positive. They are the home cooked meals of our youth. They are ghosts of the smiling people in photographs. For some of us, these meanings and memories bring pain. They are the alcoholic mother screaming. They are the abandonment felt at being left alone by the one person society tells us should always protect us. Some women are merely egg donors, but we are told that on one day a year we should celebrate them.
I say, today, we celebrate women who choose to nurture. To nurture is to “support or encourage, as during the period of training, to foster.” Nurturing is a choice, one that is neither required nor expected. Nurturing requires the giving of oneself in the selfless act of trying to support another. Nurturing is a passion. Not every mother nurtures. Not every woman who nurtures is a mother.
So, whether you are a mother or not, whether you have furbabies or human babies, whether you gave birth or cannot conceive? I celebrate your choice to nurture another life.
For those who give of themselves? I celebrate your choice as a woman to nurture.
So perhaps, today, instead of celebrating the mothers, perhaps we celebrate the intersection of womanhood and nurturing.
So to those of you women who selflessly support and encourage another living being–I celebrate you today.