on tbt – for these who made me a mother

Mother’s Day makes not one lick of sense if you’ve no longer a mom on this earth, but for throwback Thursday this week, it occurred to me—as I was going through old photos of two children long grown and gone—that I could now mark the day by simply being grateful for the two people who turned me into a mother and walked part of my road here alongside.


People show up at birth intact in our souls and along the way sometimes we break. Children help to make us strong at the broken places and go off to lead their own lives from the start. Getting to witness that, even from afar, is a gift beyond easy reckoning and any words. The gift stings and compels, brings one into deep and turbulent waters and times, and throws out daily lifelines as we flounder—teacherless and oh so alone—in the muddy shallows.

sc0002cfa6All you think will be most valuable for them may turn out a dead weight in their long run; all you do to assist and ease their paths may miss every mark they grow up to care most (or least) about; all you are may wind up not being what they need or want when it counts. Nothing in that negates motherhood or the vast shifts in consciousness that the role brings. Nothing. No Thing. Because once in a while you do something right, it turns out okay or even well (remembered or not), the years of work and worry and exhaustion culminate in a single moment when they see and appreciate some part of the lot and it actually helps them. The rest of the time you live for the whole—each jot of it precious to a mother—but once in a while an exquisite connection recurs, and you can go on from that undeterred for good.


And then, too, there’s this: Once in a while we get downright lucky at life. With these two tiny beings, I chanced it all and my ‘once in a while’ turned into eternity. That is a singular grace, bestowed by these two who came alongside for part of my journey. Happy Mother’s Day to all you fellow mothers!


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