The Mothers I Know

mamaAs a mom, I know that some days are longer than others. Some days melt your heart into a pool on the sidewalk, and others grow those gray hairs we pay hansomely to cover up. I’ve walked this mama road for 11 years and I have seen many different kinds of days.

I know some of the most remarkable mothers. I mean really, the kind that move you to do a better job, to be grateful for what you have, and to try harder than you thought you could.

A dear friend of mine is leaving for a summer away as a new grad school student. She is a single mom and her son’s father hasn’t been around for years. She works hard for a cause that she believes in. She is an incredible artist and is raising a young man who is kind, thoughtful and imaginative. She is my hero.

Another friend of mine who got divorced a few years ago is struggling to get along with her ex-husband, managing challenging teenagers, and work. She is so strong, in so many ways. She is just the right person to be able to raise these remarkable children into the grownups they are meant to be. This moment is really hard for her, and if I could tell her anything it would be, keep believing. She is my hero too.

I could go on and on about these remarkable women, and many more. How their stories, bold, hard and true, inspire me on a daily basis to be more loving, more patient, more fun and more responsible.

When you decide to become a parent, you have no idea that it will take strength you didn’t know you had, to become the parent you want to be. As a new mom it was all cozy snuggles and slobbery kisses. These days it’s watching them try on their independence and gently guiding them as they discover who they are. It is truly amazing to watch.

My daughter went to sleep-away camp for the first time last week. She has never been away from home for that long. When I dropped her off, she said “Bye mom” and waved. She was ready to go…I walked around the corner and cried. I wrote her notes so she could read them each night at bedtime and I tucked them in her bag. Each note highlighted a special quality I think she has and I wrote to her about that gift. I thought about her everyday, missed her and wondered how grown up she would be when she came home. Before she left we were the same height, when she came home she was literally taller than me. She had the most amazing time and she is growing into a truly remarkable young lady.

The mothers I know feel joy and sorrow deeply, sometimes on the same day. They go to work, exercise, read books at bedtime, pay bills and get up and do it all over again. These women do all of this without anyone witnessing it. Because as single mothers, their walk for the time being is solo. They are the quiet heroes of today, and today I honor them.

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