This isn’t exactly a new poem. It was inspired by my oldest son but over the course of the past year I’ve seen more and more instances of strength in all three of my kids. They’ve been generous with that strength, too, loaning it to me when I needed it. Like a warm coat they take off their own shoulders to place over mine.
So thank you, kiddoes. Without you I wouldn’t be me.
Has it really been more than a week since I posted an illustrated haiku? Trust me, I haven’t been idle. I’m working hard to get out my next illustrated poetry book 100 Warm Days of Haiku by fall. Which basically means I need to keep pace with what I did in April. Today I’m slowing down a little, but I have one ready for Mother’s Day, anyway.
This one is for the mothers. All the mothers. The mothers like me who were lucky enough to go the traditional route. The mothers of fur babies. The male mothers. The single mothers. The childless mothers. The adopted mothers. The old mothers, the new mothers, the tired mothers, the sad mothers, the happy mothers, the proud mothers, the I-don’t-know-why-I-did-this mothers, the will-this-ever-end mothers (yes…and no), the confused mothers (all of us), the grandmothers, the unexpected mothers, the I’m-supposed-to-be-an-aunt mothers… All the mothers.
My heart is with you all. Because we all know what it is to love someone else more than ourselves.
We shouldn’t be so damn hard on ourselves, but those precious lives we take on our souls are a burden we willingly bear—and often worry we didn’t bear well enough.
Perhaps brought on by my “Bad Mommy” experience of last weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood and what exactly it is.
I realized that if we’re lucky, we have a lot of mother figures in our lives. Just giving birth to kids doesn’t make you a mother. A mother is more than that. My own kids have me, two grandmothers, the wonderful lady who’s helped me with babysitting, laundry, housekeeping for eleven years, and several teachers, relatives and friends who’ve at one point or another provided guidance or help. A veritable village of mothers out there—I’m just the one who’s lucky enough to live with them on a day-to-day basis.
So I wrote a little poem for all the mothers out there, whether you gave birth or even live with your children. If you’ve ever supported a child in a time of need, this is for you.