Sunday is our one day a week to sleep in. So I groaned in my mind when I found myself bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 6 AM. Still, every Mother’s Day is a bit of a miracle to me. I don’t get to spend this one with my mom, Sassy. She’s always there with a bit of advice or to tell me when I’m being an idiot. During this pandemic in particular (because this is just who she is), she has also been there for my kids, surprising them with little treats or dropping off a lasagna that weighs more than our youngest child. Whether it’s finding pants the boys can’t destroy or educational workbooks to keep the kids moving forward, love blankets to snuggle in or a reminder to me that this too will end, she is a huge resource that makes me being a better mom possible on the regular. So waking up today, my first thought was how lucky I am to have her.
We don’t have a “normal” family or household. Our family comes with many moms, many kids who come from different backgrounds with different traditions. None of my kids look like me, and I spend a lot of time making sure they know who they do look like and why that’s awesome. Our family is complicated to explain to people who aren’t in it, and sometimes it’s even complicated to explain to those who are. But as the kids get older and I get more experienced with this Mom gig, my goal becomes simpler every year: make sure everyone involved knows they are loved, that they are an important part of this whole tribe, and that they all know how lucky I feel to be part of it.
So on this gloomy 6 AM morning, while I am enjoying a cup of coffee alone (a miracle into itself despite the lost and coveted sleep), I am reveling in how our family is changing and maturing. Our kids ask deep, emotional questions. They love fiercely, and they understand that love isn’t limited by titles or proximity. They love each other, they know how to accept it and share it. Despite my ample flaws, they love me too. That amazes me every morning.
Today, I will attempt again to be what I consider a perfect mom. I will fail. But we will find joy anyways, and in this era of unending quality time with the people we live with, I will be grateful for every bonus minute with these incredible kids who call me mom. I will thank the many moms who allowed me to share that title with them, and remind them they are also a critical part of this family. I will do everything I can to make my mom feel loved, even though I feel like I drop the ball there more than anywhere these days! And I will remind myself that perfection is not a goal, love can accomplish a lot, and that I am one of the luckiest people on the planet.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the incredible women who have shown me what being a mom means over the years. Whether you are a friend of my parents’ who I apparently along the way decided meant you were my people (they chose well, so I don’t see why I shouldn’t benefit!), or moms in my cohort who show me on the regular other ways of doing this, enjoy today. Let’s not mourn the broader gatherings we normally enjoy, and let’s recognize that we celebrate each other profoundly even if we’re not physically together. After all, our kids do that every year. So call your mom, hug your kids if you can, and revel in knowing that despite the circumstances, we will all find our way back together again soon.