A break from my traditional, and often political, rants.
I am a son. I have never been a mother – although there are many dads out there who have had to be both mother and father. And though I have been a father, son, brother, nephew, uncle and cousin, I have not always been the best at these.
But I had a mother. She is no longer with me, but her lessons are. And hopefully she is looking down on me smiling that I have remembered them.
Here are some things I would like to pass along to mothers everywhere.
Be patient. Your children will make mistakes, both as children and adults. You have taught them not only all the good lessons in life, but also to be their own people. And people are fallible. Keep in your heart that they had learned these lessons, and will continue to learn lessons well after you are gone. They will, sometimes after many trials, make the right choices.
Be kind. You are their mother. They look up to you as the font of knowledge and wisdom – even if they don't always think they do. A harsh word or disapproving glance or indifference to their struggles from you is more painful than a physical wound. The kindness you show will follow them throughout their lives and it will be visited upon people you have never met, but will be grateful for your example.
Be loving. This empathic link you have with your children is not only a source of comfort to them, but it is how they will learn to be loving and empathic of others. Your heart is their heart. What you give and show and teach will then be given and shown and taught by them to the world.
Be respectful. You have been teaching them from before they were breathing air on this earth. They will make good choices, bad choices and many choices in between. Its okay This is what you wanted for them . . . to send them out into the world and make it better. So respect their choices, even if you don't agree with them. They often come to these decisions after much deliberation.
And finally, be secure in the knowledge that even if they don't say it – or even if they say to the contrary – your children do love you. You are their mother.
Mother is not a job, its not a career, and at times it is not even a choice. But it is work nonetheless. And the lives you have brought into the world, or have raised into the world, are precious. And even though many think it is the case, being a mother doesn't end when they go off on their own to fill the world. There will always be worry and always be care and always be love.
One last word to the children of these mothers. All these things said of mothers, I now repeat to you. Be patient, be kind, be loving, be respectful and be secure. Mothers have worked hard to give you the world. What you give back can be just as impactful.
Happy Mothers Day to all, whether you gave birth, adopted or were just there for when they needed you.