As the clock ticked over to Mothers Day 2013, I was sitting in the Emergency Department of the Royal Childrens’ Hospital while my middle son was treated for croup. We are well familiar with croup in our house, as Charlie had his first episode when he was only four months old, and usually we manage to treat it successfully at home. But when I saw my baby struggling for air and too distressed to take the medicine that would help him, the mothers instinct kicked and in and we decided he’d be better off in the hands of the experts this time. It was a long night with little sleep, but Charlie’s fine and we’re home, albeit tired.
It was a fitting start to Mothers Day, really – a reminder of how lucky I am to have these three (usually very) healthy boys in my life who have given me this title of ‘mother’, one I wear with pride.
I arrived home to a beautiful handmade bookmark from Sam, which he was so excited to give me, and big cuddles from Nicholas. I appreciated the kindy-made bath salts from Charlie and a letter telling me he loves jumping on the trampoline with me. I enjoyed receiving a bunch of flowers from my parents-in-law, and sitting back with coffee and brunch that my husband had lovingly cooked. And, while I love all those moments of appreciation that celebrate me as a mother, I know that the spirit of motherhood is also present in the hard stuff, in the struggles and brokenness. I know that some days we may feel more like warriors than princesses, that being a mother is not always (ever?) a holiday.
Over the weekend I read this blog post, in which Ethan Saylor’s mother talks about memories of her son and facing this Mother’s Day without him. I have read many articles and blog posts about Ethan since his death, but this one really brought it home for me. Regardless of his abilities or disabilities, health conditions, how he looked or how valued he was by our society, Ethan Saylor was, first and foremost, his mother’s son and cherished family member. He is loved and valued and should not have died over the cost of a movie ticket. Today, of all days, Patti shouldn’t be grieving the loss of her son. (Please sign this petition in support of Ethan’s family).
On this Mother’s Day, I want to remember the women who may find it difficult to celebrate today, mothers who may feel a little lost, sad and forgotten.
A mother who has carried a baby within her belly but never gets to take her precious one home.
Mothers who, for whatever reason, have to contemplate not keeping the baby who grows within.
Mothers who have to bury beloved children well before their time.
Single mums who face the challenges of parenting alone.
Women who manage to find the strength to be incredible mothers (even if they don’t feel like they are) in spite of their own illnesses or struggles.
Women who have lost their own mothers.
May you find grace, may you feel loved, may you know you are cherished. Thinking of you on this Mother’s Day.