Here’s to the mothers.
Here’s to the mothers that always wanted to be mothers. Who wanted, planned for, and had children they loved more than themselves. Mothers like mine who put their children before themselves in every conceivable way. The full-of-joy mothers. The light-up-when-you-walk-in-the-room mothers.
Here’s to the mothers who had motherhood thrust upon them before they were ready for it. Who gave it their all anyway. Who grew up with their children.
Here’s to women who chose not to be mothers. To knowing it just wasn’t for them. To the ones who stand proudly in that choice, and who love their lives just the way they are.
Here’s to women who wanted children but couldn’t or didn’t have them, for one reason or another. Here’s to honoring the heartache of what could have been, and to celebrating what is.
Here’s to women who are still thinking it over, this whole “motherhood” thing. Here’s to the scared shitless among us, because they are right to be scared. They are smart to be scared. Scared is a perfectly appropriate emotion when it comes to raising another human being from the ground up. Here’s to their futures, whatever it is they decide. They’re enough on their own either way.
Here’s to the women who just had a miscarriage. The women who choke back their emotion when the well-meaning morons asks if they’re ever going to start a family. Here’s to women struggling with infertility and smiling through every friend’s baby shower. Here’s to the silent sobs in the bathroom from a deep soul twisted-up ache and a desperation it seems no one else has ever known. Here’s to wondering if you’re alone. Here’s to knowing you aren’t.
Here’s to the women who’ve lost themselves in their children. Who wake up and wonder where they’ve gone; who ask, “Where did you last see me? Maybe I’m there.” Here’s to retracing their steps; to their identities still sitting very patiently inside their hearts, waiting to be called forth again. Here’s to that day, whenever it arrives, and here’s to the season they’re living in instead. It’s just a season, after all. Another one always seems to come.
Here’s to the monotony of motherhood. The same books, the same songs, the same questions and answers. Here’s to the unthanked and unnoticed, the taken advantage of, the worn the hell out.
Here’s to the tired moms. Here’s to the moms of small children - children don’t know better, and take what they give and give. Here’s to the moms of big children - children who should know better, but still take a lot. Here’s to asleep in 90 seconds. Here’s to waking up like someone shot a gun by your ear, covered in drool and wondering what day it is and which child is crying already. Here’s to laughing at the concept of “me time.” To moms who go to work, then come home and work some more. To moms who stay home. To everything in between. To laughing over drinks with the other tired and worn outs.
Here’s to the guilt. The walking out the door to work guilt, the going on a date guilt, the spending the night without kids guilt. Here’s to the anxiety that every choice could be THE CHOICE and every sport could be THE SPORT and the what if’s? and the night sweats and the terrors and the elephants on our chests. Here’s to comparing your worst moments to the best of everyone else. Here’s to unlearning that habit.
Here’s to feeling great about taking a night off. Here’s to we’re still people and we can pour into ourselves. Here’s to putting on your own oxygen mask on first.
Here’s to strength we didn’t know we had. To looking back a time in our lives and wondering how the hell we ever did that. To not having time to wonder how we were doing it while we were doing it. To just DOING it.
Here’s to the women who aren’t our mothers but might as well be. To the women who feel like home. To the deep knowing that comes with putting out your hands and saying, “Give that to me - I can bear that for you.” Here’s to the women who have taught us how to be us. Here’s to the missing puzzle piece found in them.
Here’s to the women for whom Mother’s Day feels like a knife to the ribs. Here’s to the ones with complicated mothers who feel like they’ll never get untangled; who trip over roots that have sprung forth from the seeds of doubt their mothers have sewn in them. Here’s to unwinding the yarn ball and realizing the truth: mothers are just people, and sometimes they screw it up pretty badly. Here’s to living without resentment. Here’s to the cycle stopping with you.
Here’s to our mothers who have gone on without us - to the benign betrayal of death. Here’s to the community of saints and the clouds of witnesses. Here’s to wondering what your mother would say. Here’s to wishing she could see this. To “gone but not forgotten.” And maybe, really, never gone at all.
Here’s to the power and the magic of women in all our forms. To getting older and understanding with each year that women are the spark that keeps the fire alive. To the ways we carry the men and the children in our lives. To the ways we carry each other.
To the million layer cake that is women on earth, who dream and can and do. To the twinkle in our eyes. To straightening our backs and setting our faces toward joy - not because it’s easy, but because it’s right. To ice in our veins and warmth in our smiles. To nerves of steel. To hearts bursting forth with love.
To us. Boy, do I love us all.