In two days, it will be Mother's Day. This year, it happens to fall on the same date as my parents' wedding anniversary AND my brothers' birthdays. My Mom said that the day my brothers were born was also Mother's Day (and of course, it was their anniversary.) What an exciting day that must have been! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! And Happy Birthday William and James!
In the past few days, I've been thinking about my very first Mother's Day. I was a few months' pregnant with my first baby, Angelina. I was 22. I can't remember much about that time except an overwhelming chaos in my head, a mix of worries about what my life would be like once I had a baby and wondering whether I would be a good mother to her and be everything she deserved.
My third Mother's Day, I was about to give birth to my second baby, Aidan. We were excited to be adding another child to our family. Our lives had been a little crazy in the first year or so of our marriage with already having our first baby. Things seemed to have settled down a little and we welcomed the stability of an addition to the family with open arms. We were also anticipating our homebirth with him, a VBAC at that.
My fourth Mother's Day, I was once again pregnant. It was the very beginning of my pregnancy and I was a little worried about what taking care of 3 children would be like.
This year will be my fifth Mother's Day. I pause to think about my first Mother's Day compared to this one. How different everything is! My first one, I was so unsure as to my life's path and my ability to be a good mother to a tiny helpless little being whose heart I would have the responsibility of loving and raising. This year, I now have 3 children whose lives I am responsible for and there are so many things that have changed since that first Mother's Day. I have grown in so many ways, strengthened by both my failures and my successes as a mother in the past 5 years. My love for my children has no limits and I have come to know that my ability to be a good mother has reached far beyond even my own expectations. I am also reminded that as mothers we are called to such an important job and that because we are not perfect God does not expect perfection, only that we try to achieve it.
So much has changed in the 5 years. Below is a poem summing up the physical changes but with a deeper meaning.
The Anatomy Of A Mother
Arms once heavy with the burden of physical labor
Now surround my small child for a gentle hug
Lips once locked in passion with my honey
Now have the power to kiss boo-boos away
Breasts once viewed as an obsession of men
Now provide sustenance for my growing baby
Hips once straight, almost boyish and lean
Now curve to hold the seat of my clinging child
Heart once selfishly turned inward and weak
Now beats for the breath of my children
Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there! To the ones who are newly pregnant, to the ones who are newbies as well as the old pros, to all the grandmothers, to all the great-grandmothers, to the ones who gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, to the ones who allow their children to change them more than just physically, to the ones who chose to have their baby instead of aborting it, and especially to the ones whose paths were not always clear but defined the beginning of their life by the life they carried within them.