This is a mother’s day and it has been a mothering year. We warrior mothers, we pass the thousands of hours in years and mark them with the birthdays of our children, not our own. Today we’re marked and celebrated with messy kid-handled pancakes and syrupy kisses and handmade cards with scrawls and artist’s drawings of ourselves with the skinniest of frames and huge eyes. They’re beautiful, and the pancakes are the best we’ve ever had.
Yesterday morning I had that half of the day entirely to myself and I drove around a beautiful lake and stopped at beautiful homes for an annual garage sale extravaganza. It wasn’t about stuff as much as it was about a treasure hunt and treasures I found. More than in garages, I found laughter with my own mother and a gulping of the most beautiful weather God could have lended the day. I sucked it in and said, I can smell the lake. The perfectly still lake, sun glimmering and sparkly.
I found a tiny little vintage chair, all mid-century modern green and totally rad. Just Elsie’s size and I couldn’t wait to see her in it. $2.
Thoughts of the Time Magazine attachment parenting article controversy bounced around my head while I drove, slow and careful around the curvy and busy with treasure-hunters roads. I’m a mother, I had to give it all just a little thought. The thin and beautiful blogging mother on the cover, her three year old son attached to her breast and forever attached to the Internet and the cover of that grab-your-attention-for-sales magazine. When he is twenty his friends will learn that he was the boy on the boob back then. And then there’s the ridiculous title of the article, screaming to irritate any mother right before Mother’s Day with, ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH?
Dear Time Magazine, my feathers are not ruffled. They are otherwise occupied with very few mornings to myself and the covering of my three beautiful children. My heart and mind have no room for comparing to another mother because they are with Kristen’s words in response to the article, Where is the mommy-war for the motherless child?
I came home from sale-ing to nurse and rock my baby to sleep. I didn’t do that because I have the title of Attachment Parent or because I’m trying to keep up with any other mother. I did that because that’s what she needed in that moment. She was close and sleeping and I was looking at her and running my hand over her head and a picture came to mind of a boy from Haiti with hydrocephalus, what our very own Asher has, but the boy from Haiti is untreated. His head is enormous, his eyes bulging from the pressure in his brain. And I imagined him here, he was Elsie Jane and I was his mother and I was comforting his pain and I was holding him close and I was weeping.
I hope his face is always on the Internet, where I found him and was reminded again that I am a mother to more than just my children. I am holding them all if I allow myself to see them there in my arms and when I am then drawn to do something. They are the treasure. I am the mother.
I will sponsor you through Compassion and I will help break you free through International Justice Mission and I will remain open to whatever else I start to feel drawn to do for you and if I ever stop weeping for you I will know that something is wrong.
Today I share Mother’s Day with my husband on his birthday and my children and all of their needs and it is not a sacrifice even though each and every day I sacrifice as Mother Enough. My children have me, broken and messy Mama Heather. I’m right here, with them, and so they are so willing to share my heart with the orphaned, the un-mothered.
Yesterday I drove around a beautiful lake and I thought about what mothering means and I know for certain that it isn’t at all about what kind of title you give it. That is all just stuff. Maybe I fit under Attachment Parenting, but I am only there because I am following my own personal and private and intimate heart-gut guiding. That’s different for everyone. This life, overall, as a mother, is about a treasure hunt. Seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary and discovering so very little is about me. It is about Love and being led by Love and that means it is about not forgetting the motherless children in the midst of our busy lives with our guilt-inducing over-thinking Mama brains that taunt us to compare or contrive drama for the sake of drama. We miss the treasures, in our lives and the treasure of the orphan-child, if we stay stuck there.
So, Time Magazine, I have no room for you. It is Mother’s Day and I am grateful and overwhelmed with so much good in my life–so much good I can hardly even take it all in without combusting. And yet, there will remain a part of my open heart that sees the sad reality of a media driven culture that has been conditioned to feel nothing when seeing the faces of the orphaned on magazine covers. Those faces are rarely there and covered instead with Kardashians and contrived stories of mothers pitting themselves against each other based on how they raise their children. It is attention grabbing and short-lived and shallow.
Let’s move on, on Mother’s Day. Where we stay in the syrupy kisses day and in Love, paying no mind to comparisons but only to honoring our mothering hearts–ones always big enough for the orphan coming home to us, in one way or another…
Happy Mother’s Day, my friends.