At some point during the week prior to this annual Sunday reserved to celebrate motherhood, I am inevitably asked by my husband and daughter, “What do you want for Mother’s Day?” My primary love language is gift-giving, so receiving gifts big and small is particularly delightful to me. My family knows that and they are always very sweet.
There’s all types of mothers in this world, and if you asked them what they want for Mother’s Day, you’d find it can’t be bought in a store or online.
A mother with adult children might tell you she’d like to see more of her kids who live far away. Or have all of her children together in the same room like old times.
A refugee mother would tell you she just wants to get her child to a safe place and put down roots without fear of war or gangs or famine.
A mother with estranged children might tell you she wishes for a chance to reconcile.
A mother of young children might say she wishes for a moment’s quiet.
A mother of a sick child desperately desires healing. She would give her own life for theirs if she could.
A young mother might wish for some inkling that she’s even doing this parenting thing right! A later-in-life mother craves the energy of the young one — and also wishes for some inkling that she’s even doing this parenting thing right.
A mother who’s child was taken far too soon would ask for another chance to hold her beloved tightly and smell their hair that’s damp from running outside. And for justice because her son mattered.
Birth mothers, adoptive mothers, aunties, grandmothers, foster mothers, mothers-in-law and mothers-in-love. Every woman I know is a mother to someone, even if they never gave birth.
I have only been a mother for 15 years, so I am pretty new at this. But I think all any of us really want is for our kids to be OK. Whether they are babies, or middle-aged or middle-schooled — we just want to go to bed at night knowing they are safe and have a life filled with joy.
So, to the mothers who are missing their children today and everyday, you have my love and prayers. To the mothers enjoying the sweetness of their kids, you have my love and prayers. To the mothers who struggle every day because life is just hard, you have my love and prayers.
A lifetime of motherhood will encompass it all.
Holly Rosser Miller has lived and worked in Muskogee for 20 years.