Mother’s Day is tomorrow, and it’s important to remember that there are a lot of mothers out there who won’t be honored on this special day, but should be. Extra devoted aunts, mothers who have lost children or miscarried, moms who have been separated from their children or are unable to care for them but wish they could, and those who’ve been unable to have their own children, but have mothered other children around them– to all of you, I wish for you the kind of love you crave and deserve. Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the mothers out there!
Because no matter the form, motherhood is never easy. In fact, the goals of mothering are actually impossible. We want to ensure that our children never get hurt, sick, make bad decisions, feel alone, or come anywhere close to death. And yet life guarantees that all of these things will happen. But that doesn’t stop a mom from trying– day after day. Motherhood, by definition, is a form of insanity. But we don’t care– we mom’s are over the whole self-image thing, and we will attempt to defy even impossible odds for the well being of our children. Even when our children defy us.
I’d like to give an extra special Happy Mother’s Day to those moms whose children fall outside of the norm, especially those with children on the spectrum. I have a son with Asperger’s, so I know personally the challenge of raising a child who doesn’t always reciprocate a mother’s love the way most “typical” children do. But as my son snuck out of bed last night because he just had to tell me something that happened earlier at school, and that turned into a half-hour long chat (from a kid who often won’t give me more than yes or no answers all day), I was reminded that love shows itself in so many different ways. It can be heart wrenching when you tell your young child you love them and they refuse to respond, or you smile and hug them and they frown and pull away. It hurts when they would rather play alone in their room than play a game with you. And when you have teachers telling you the atypical things your child is doing at school, you can hardly help but feel like a failure.
Until one night when you’re making dinner and your son begs to help you cook. Or he leaves his spot in the chair across the room to sit next to you on the couch with his handheld game. Or when he worries obsessively about the doors being locked and you being safe from “bad guys” while he’s away at school. We moms with “atypical” children are blessed to be able to see expressions of love other moms may not even notice. Turns out actions really are more meaningful than words! And for all the mothers out there who struggle to parent these extra special children every day, I dedicate my story Solomon’s Friend which is coming out in the new anthology Fae by World Weaver Press. It is the story of my son and I, with a fantastical, cranky old hob thrown in to add to the magic (and frustration) of parenting. But more importantly, it is the story of every mom who loves her child so much that it hurts, and all the little signs of love she could easily miss if she isn’t looking.
To all of you mothers out there, have a wonderful Mother’s Day, tomorrow and all the days of the year!