I cannot presume to understand the relationship between a woman and her mother. To her, the word “Mother” represents both her origin and her destiny. And she need not, by any means, be a biological mother. Some of the finest “mothers” who have ever lived had no earthly husband, no children of the womb. Haven’t we all known at least one of these beautiful women, these precious souls who have given of themselves so fully, who have become mothers to all who know them. Could any of us ever call that little saint from Calcutta, Sister Teresa? I think not.
Motherhood, in the end, is not a biological function as much as it is, like all true love, an act of the will.
Nonetheless I can only salute it from a man’s perspective and so, I will try. First and foremost, regarding this, the highest achievement to which a human can aspire, I offer a secret that every man feels in his heart, long before he grasps it in his mind. Ready for the secret . . . We know!
Yes, we know. At some point in our lives we come to understand what Motherhood is, but it may take a long, long time. You ladies know all about it from the first twinge of morning sickness. I have seen the look on the faces of my own three daughters as they came to the early realization that their lives will never again be entirely their own. I have seen my wife go from being girl to woman with nine months of “growth” and I have watch her complete the journey with the doctor’s first, “Time to push!”
Ten times, I have been graced to be present when new life was born. Ten times, I have been the only person in the room completely free (save the vice grip of my wife) to observe, to pray, to learn. Yet for all that, I must confess that I never fully appreciated motherhood, even as I was co-creating it. You just can’t put an old head on young body. It is only now, as I watch my daughters struggle with the daily work of being moms, that I realize what their mother went through.
This, however, is my Mother’s Day wish for you moms, especially of young children.
You were not as clever when we met you as when you cajole a child into eating her peas. You were not as funny when we dated you as you are ranting about the gum in his hair. You weren’t as athletic in college as when you are juggling groceries, purse, baby and toddler. You weren’t as studious writing your Master Thesis as you are explaining 4th grade math. And you were not as beautiful to us on your wedding day as when, with tousled hair and stained blouse, you sing a child to sleep.
Happy Mother’s Day to my wife, my mother, my daughters and to mothers everywhere. Remember, we don’t always show it, we may not even realize it, but deep in our hearts . . . We know!
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