For the first time in about three years I’m not dreading Mother’s Day. In fact I’m kind of buoyant about the day, probably because I have so much to celebrate. I have beautiful 7 month old daughter, a husband who loves me, and although I have complaints (all small and tedious) they all fall away because I am so happy in this life.
A far cry from two years ago around this time, huh? The First Mother’s day I had to endure after Ukiah’s death was something else wasn’t it? My scars were so new back then, so fresh and aching from my son’s loss. If there’s anything I could go back and change about that day, it would be my answer to the bagel guy. He asked if I was a mother and because Ukiah was gone and technically I no longer had anything to quote/unquote “Mother” any more, I said no. I should’ve said yes. Just because my child was no longer there doesn’t mean I’m still not his mother, or that my mothering instincts, my ability to give motherly love is no longer there.
Just because my child was gone should not have kept me from stating I was a Mother, because I am a mother to all children who need love, especially to those who need extra love and that is never going to change.
I try to go to Yoga class once a week. Every week my teacher asks us to come up with an intention for our Yoga practice. My intention is always the same, that my love, my wonderful motherly love that I have in spades finds its way to child who needs it. I always picture the Children’s Hospital NICU when I think this, all the tiny premie babies struggling to maintain their breath, beautiful babies having to endure prodding and poking and all manner of challenges just live and I send them my love. I think about George Mark House and all manner of special needs children who might be in their halls and I send them my love, because I have it to give.
We all have it to give, stores of motherly, fatherly, grandmotherly, grandfatherly love. Even if you aren’t a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather yet, you do have the ability to tap unknown depths of love and compassion you never knew you had. And you should look at those limitless stores of love you have within you and do something with it. It doesn’t have to be profound and life-changing. Even the simplest acts of love and compassion can do something incredible.
And I guess that’s the challenge I’d like to offer this Mother’s Day. Yes we should all tell our mothers that we love and appreciate them, but we as mothers should also do something with those stores of love we usually reserve for our own children. Send it out into the universe, either silently or with direct action. Acknowledge that that love you have for your own child is so vast and beautiful and amazing that you can give it out freely, especially to children that need it.
Unfortunately we’ve become overly possessive about love, but its not a possession so much as an element, and just like the elements of earth, wind, water, and fire being for all people and beings, love can be for all people, beings, and things.
Tell something you love it today, a bush you encounter on your walk, the hills and mountains that may be part of your every day scenery, one of your child’s students who may be going through a tough time at school, somebody who might be acting mean because they are having a tough day and feel the need to act out. Tell them you love them unreservedly. Motherly love is the freest, purest, most abundant version of love available. This Mother’s Day, instead of making the day about receiving love for who we are as mothers, we should give that Motherly Love as freely as we possibly can to as many as we possibly can.