Mother's Day

Mother's Day

Here’s to the woman who spent nine long months retaining water, growing and stretching into a living vessel.

Here’s to the woman who, years later, stares into the mirror of her former self and ties the knots of her body together, every inch of loose skin a physical reminder of love.

Here to the women who teaches her sons to dance and her daughters to throw; who wears her heart on her sleeve and her courage in her convictions.

Here’s to the late nights and the early mornings, to the absence of sleep because the baby is crying or the teenager is out past curfew or the adult children are in places unknown, recapturing the dream that was once America.

Here’s to the working woman worried she’s not there enough for her children, and the stay-at-home mom who cleans diapers all day, fantasizing about adult conversations.

Here’s to the woman with a special needs child, who enters the delivery room a mortal and walks out a warrior. Here’s to the fierce kind of all-conquering love uniquely her own.

Here’s to the woman who traded her youth or postponed her retirement, who rinsed the dreams from her hair and the desire from her bones to spend her life raising a miracle all on her own.

Here’s to the miracle postponed. Here’s to the woman whose womb has only known winter. Here’s to the home she grows with life from the light of other women’s summers.

Here’s to the woman who loves her children too hard or too soft, who knows the terror of a speeding car or a sizzling plate, who lays down beside her frightened child and wipes the fear from their crying face.

Here’s to the woman who saw the speeding car too late.

Here’s to the woman whose child was a spark that flickered once, then surrendered. Here’s to the blankets that remain folded and the bottles that stay dry. Here’s to the could-have-beens and the should-have-beens. Here’s to the love that continues to burn long after the last ember of life has been extinguished.

Here’s to the woman sitting outside the clinic, diverting her eyes from the protest signs, promising the cells multiplying in her womb, “This isn’t a goodbye. This is a ‘see you later.’” Here’s to the promise kept.

Here’s to the woman who never wanted to be a mother, but welcomes other women’s children as her own.

Here’s to the woman who still dreams of the children she hasn’t spoken to in years, because love is a long, winding thread that fractures at times, but never severs.

Here’s to the Mother Marys and the Mary Magdalenes and the Mary Janes; here’s to the fertile and the fertile of heart and the unselfish and the brave, here’s to the generations of women who wrap their arms around our nation, whispering, “Shh. I’ll keep you safe.”
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