Any legitimate blogger would have never started a blog only to post two times then take over two months to post again. Oh well, I never claimed to be legitimate. At some point I’m sure all the words that have been marinating in my mind and heart during those two months will come tapping out of my fingers. Until then, I’ll share what unexpectedly overwhelmed my thoughts today, Mother’s Day.
I have an exceptional mom. She’s always been exceptional. She was and is all the Hallmark cards and Proverbs 31 attributes rolled into one. I AM BLESSED. But the thoughts that came pouring into my mind today were about the other mothers.
Let me explain. I have women in my life who I’ve witnessed mother kids, both small and grown, that do not share one bit of DNA. My best friend since we were 3-year old toddlers at church married a man who had a young boy from a previous marriage. Fresh out of college and on the brink of 22 years old, she was an instant parent. That precious boy was cared for as if she had carried him for 9 months herself. That boy is now a 31-year old man.
Then there’s the friend who married and her husband had a sister 10 years her junior. Little did she expect, at least I would think, that she would become the mother figure to her young sister-in-law. That’s right, mothering her in every way.
One friend and her husband foster children. Two of the children who have been fortunate enough to come into their home became permanent residents when they decided to adopt them. Their daughter was very delayed in her progress due to drug/alcohol abuse during pregnancy. That didn’t deter them. Different blood types didn’t matter. My friend is the mother of those two children.
Another friend, again married a man who had twins from a previous marriage, with little to no involvement from the biological mother. She and her husband chose not to have any more children. Who could blame them? Twins! She loved, nurtured, and mothered those children. Those twins are grown now. The marriage ended for reasons I don’t know and don’t need to know. As a result of the broken marriage, my friend and the children she poured her life into now have an estranged relationship at best. Does her heart not break the same?
One precious friend is the mother to 3 children, each adopted. Is she anything less than their mother because they don’t have shared blood coursing through their veins? Of course not!
See I relate to these women. I met my husband when his children were 7 and almost 9 years old. We married and chose not to have any more children. We chose not to adopt. We chose not to foster. We chose the two that were already present. We refer to them as “our” kids. They have a mother and my husband has been exceptional in that he tried to always make clear to them that I was not there to try to take the place of their mother. I’ll tell you why we call them “our” kids. When we married and God made Doug and I into one, what was his became mine and what was mine became his. I just happened to have a lot of clothes and shoes and he happened to have 2 precious kids! Our kids are grown now and have children of their own. And those are our grand babies, three of them!
All the women above have sat up in the middle of the night with sick kids, been taxi to ballgames, practices, track meets, band concerts, and changed countless diapers. We’ve studied for tests, attended parent/teacher conferences, and made sure school projects were complete. We’ve dried tears and cried tears. We’ve been to doctors appointments, the dentist and orthodontist more times that we can remember. We’ve planned birthday parties and family vacations. We’ve been the paparazzi for proms and sat through seemingly endless graduations. We’ve cheered, celebrated, consoled and been disappointed right along side of the other parents. We’ve loved these kids fiercely and without reservation.
So to all you “other mothers” out there. I see you. I know what you do. I know how you love. And I know how sometimes, days like today, leave you feeling a little undervalued, a little overlooked. For what it’s worth, there’s some of us that know your value. We know sometimes you’re the glue that’s holding the whole thing together. Keep loving selflessly. It’s not about us anyway, is it? It’s about loving like Jesus, without fame or recognition. May we be thankful to Him and honor Him by loving those He has allowed us to mother without necessarily holding the title.