Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Tuesday, February 13, 2001

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at
football/hockey/soccer games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so
that when their kids asked,
"Did you see me?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for
the world," and mean it.

This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in
their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry
Kool-Aid saying, "It's OK honey,
Mommy's here."

This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who fled in the night and can't find
their children.

This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the
mothers who took those babies and made them homes.

For all the mothers of the victims of the Colorado shooting, and the mothers
of the murderers. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat
in front of their TVs in
horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween
costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.

What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The
ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at
the same time? Or is it
heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear
down the street, walking to School alone for the very first time? The jolt
that takes you from sleep to
dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping
baby? The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you
hear news of a school
shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying?

So this is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and
explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but
just couldn't.

This is for reading "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then
reading it again. "Just one more time."

This is for all the mothers who mess up. Who yell at their kids in the
grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired
2-year old who wants ice cream before
dinner.

This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their
shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for
Velcro instead.

For all the mothers who bite their lips - sometimes until they bleed - when
their 14 year olds dye their hair green.

Who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won't stop.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair
and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters
to sink a jump shot.

This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice
calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at
home.

This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children's
graves.

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the
words to reach them.

This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomachaches,
assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls
from the school nurse and hour
later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.

This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep
deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and
stay-at-home mothers. Single
mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. This is
for you all. So hang in there.
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