Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day (indicating the individual celebration of a mother) or Mothers’ Day – with the apostrophe after – to show that the day is the day designated for celebrating all mothers. How ever it is termed and whenever it is celebrated, this day is a special day for acknowledging the special women in your lives who have nurtured and cared for you.
What makes a mother? Sure there’s the biological aspect but as we know it is so much more. When watching the recently released Lion movie I was moved to tears at the moment when the audience is shown the actual moment when biological and adoptive mother meet for the first time. The genuine connection between these two women was such a beautiful representation of the emotion of motherhood. The suffering and the joy and the knowledge that their shared part in their son’s life was something so very precious.
I have been reflecting on this concept of motherhood and how it is so much more that merely producing offspring. I have felt the warmth of many mothers during my life, my own mother naturally, but also grandmothers, godmothers, my aunts, friends and at times witnessed the mothering of strangers such as the nurses who care when we are in hospital or those caring for young children in a range of care centres and organisations. In all these roles we play our the role of mother and be that point of refuge, that primary carer, the confident the believe rand the steadfast support for the children in our lives.
If you recall the weight of a baby in your arms
If you still remember first words, first steps so small
If you’ve packed a lunch or chopped up fruit
And upon the steel benches watched sport been won and lost
If you have been sleep weary from the hours spent waiting
To hear returning footsteps
If you wore the carpets bare when such news was not forthcoming
If you held breath for exam results or test results
Or just a message for proof of life
If you have held a hand when pain abounds when hearts first broke or friends forsook
And if in the mall you’ve searched for a child who’s disappeared
Or if you have known the ache of loss
Before you ever had a chance to hold close your heart’s desire
When every month is in vain
Have you stayed at troubled bedsides, looked upon the forever young,
Walked empty handed from the hospital ward
Or empty-wombed have cleaved your purpose to promote the lives of children?
If from afar you have been captured by the children in your life
Be they tied by blood, or promise
Or simply by your desire to protect these innocent and vulnerable.
If you have known these things and born their joy and pain
You are indeed a mother
And Mothers’ Day is yours.