This post is a little more personal. Feel free to skip it.
I've had this post rolling around in my head for a while now and when these thoughts and ideas linger, you need to let them out, right? On Mother's Day, we celebrate our mothers, and rightly so. They are the ones who wiped our noses, who kissed our boo-boos. The ones who stayed up late at night sewing us costumes for the school play, who would let us sleep us in their beds when the monsters got the best of us. Mom was there at the first gymnastics competition and the last day of University. One day is not enough to be thankful for all the things mom has done.
And now that I've become a mother, I look back at those days in a new light. As a kid, everything was roses and sunshine and happiness but now I understand there were challenges and sadness, impatience and struggles as well in the day to day life of being mom. Its a gift, this new understanding and in a way, it makes me appreciate not only my own mother more but all women too.
I've learned there is more than one definition of Mother. I see it in my older sister who taught me how to tie my shoes when I was 4 and whose shoulder I cried on when I was 24. It's in Ashleigh, Natalie, FC, Shannon, and Kate, women who across the distance show me many ways to love a child. She's there at daycare, in the teacher taking care of my daughter like she was her own. And as a woman struggling with infertility, I see it in the faces of other women at the clinic, women whose hearts and bodies are raw with the desire to hold a precious child. There is Mother in them too.
The journey to becoming a mother doesn't start that day when a baby is born. It doesn't end when an adult moves out on their own. I think of it like a slow blinking light, deep inside the core of all women. Some nurture it, stroking it with every kind word to a child, every game of peek-a-boo played with a baby. Others let it fade. Whether that light blazes bright or dies into an ember, I think at some point we all wonder Should I? Can I? Do I Dare... to be a mother?
I never understood the immensity of that question until I answered it for myself. So to all mothers I've encountered throughout my life, Happy Mother's Day. You've helped me become the mother I am today.