We’re daughters, sisters, wives, friends. We’re mothers by giving birth or giving love.
We’re resilient. We’re fragile and strong, advocates and comforters.
We’re women who fight for others, some related, some not and sometimes we fight at the cost of ourselves. We hate pedestals, knowing what we do isn’t incredible, remarkable, or heroic. It’s necessary.
We show our love in tangible ways everyone sees but a lot of our love is unseen. In our daily tasks to keep our kids alive and thriving and in our daily rituals to help them cope. It’s in our doing what needs to be done, even when the doing is hard and sad. It’s in the special diets, the fidgets bought and our tireless search for answers. It’s in our calls and emails to doctors and therapists and schools and insurance companies. It’s in the endless meetings… you know the ones.
We can find anything our kids need, like special socks or lotions, the alternative therapy or aide. We’re inventors, sort of, because we’ll hand sew, hand tie, hand rig something that helps our kids.
We’re acting teachers and therapists, we’re first-aide providers and boo-boo kissers and big hug givers. Sometimes we have to interject pain, without choice, as the medical caregiver and provider. It hurts us to hold them still for procedures and treatments.
We’re gifted at balancing a hundred things. We’re high-achievers, we’re competitive and we’re protectors. We’re expert shower-criers.
We know how to read medical text books and research papers. We can spout out from memory barely pronounceable diagnoses and we know percentages of survival, treatment success, and death. Some of us have planned funerals, picked hymns.
We can rattle off lists of medications and doses at any moment. We can do many things, even when we’re sleep and food deprived hovering over a hospital bed holding a little hand so the kid attached to that hand can feel safe and sleep peacefully.
We know there are many degrees and variations of normal.
We hurt for our kids and would take their pain if we could, knowing each day, that is not possible. So instead we bury our pain and we fight. We fight for their chances. For their happiness. For their acceptance.
We wish for our kids what all parents do and for a little more. We wish for them to live without emotional pain and physical pain. We wish them to live an average lifespan. We wish for them to be loved unconditionally. Like any mother.
When we cry it’s for our kids and for us and for what should have been. We cry for joy too, for the hard-earned first steps and first anythings because first anythings are always hard-earned or expected to never come, as recited by doctors who didn’t believe.
We have the strength of pack mules and the light and loving touch of sweet, little bunnies. If you don’t know you’re amazing, it’s okay. I do.
I see you.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers…those without their children and with their children. To women who are mother figures. Those who are sad, celebrating and happy and mourning. To women who nurture and advocate and wail and laugh. Thank you for all you do.
And to my mother. Thank you for all have done for me, I really, really miss you.
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