Happy Mother’s Day. Maybe you have a child of your own. Maybe you’re a teacher, a neighbor, a youth worker, an aunt, a friend. There are so many ways you can end up playing the role of mom.
This week in my job as a school counselor I was reminded over and over again that people come in so many different shapes and sizes – mom’s and children both. And both roles can be incredibly difficult. I sat with parents struggling to determine, in this new stage of their chid’s life, what it means to be a parent and give their child the best they can. I sat with kids struggling to cope with the pain affecting their parents – trying to play a parental role for the very people who are caring for them. And I had a conversation with a student where I realized that I was working so hard not because I needed to prove by my words and actions that I was trustworthy, but that any adult could be trustworthy, because it had been proved to her too many times that this was not true.
And then I came home and looked at my own little boys who, at 2 and 4 years old, are dealing with a whole different perspective and set of challenges. They have no idea how much of life is ahead of them – how vast and difficult our world can be. I pray that they get to see the good side of life – that their challenges are brief and lead to times of growth and learning, but I know that no matter what there will be challenges. I pray that I can help them face these challenges; that I can impart wisdom, patience, and resilience in the face of it all. However, I know that there will be so many other people who will have an affect on their lives, people who will teach them lessons that I have not – some bad, some good.
I have been blessed to have a wonderful mother who taught and continues to teach me in so many ways. I am thankful for her wisdom, her consistency, and her continual proof that she is loving and trustworthy. But there have also been many other women in my life who have stood by me, loved me, taught me, had patience with me, and in some important way played a part in the role of mother.
So to each woman who reads this, whatever role you play in a child’s life – today is for you. Today I celebrate the impact you have, the love you give, the important lessons you impart, and the ways you prove to a child that someone cares, that someone will be there to celebrate the good times, and support them when life gets hard. Thank you for the important and varied ways you impact lives. You make a difference. Please don’t ever take your role for granted. Please don’t think that you have to actually be someone’s parent to be a part of being that role in their life. A part of who we are and how we see the world is the culmination of the many different people who took the time to, in some small or big way, say “you matter”.
Thank you for the ways you are already doing this. Keep up the good work!
Happy Mother’s Day to you!