In my bedroom sits a framed photograph of my daughter and me taken on my first Mother’s Day–the first when I was on the mother side of the event. It was twenty-two years ago. I look young and rested though I am sure I was not. She is sleeping peacefully and I have her hugged tightly against my body as though I am afraid someone might challenge me for her.
I remember the exact minute the photo was taken. I don’t allow many photographs to be taken of me, but I was eager for this one. I loved motherhood and had been celebrating it in my heart for four months by then. It was as if the world had finally caught up with what I already knew and I was ready to have it documented for all time.
I became a mother two more times and felt the same joy with each new life. Twenty-one Mother’s Days have come and gone in the meantime. Each year my children greeted me, and I in turn greeted my mother. Until today. Today I sent no card, made no call, chose no gift. My kids greeted me as they always do, but today I did not feel like the mother. On this Mother’s Day once again I was the daughter, and I was longing for my mother.
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is, was or will be a mother and everyone else who has or had one. We all need a little mothering from time to time.