I love you. All of you. Not just mine, not just yours, all of them. Even though Mother’s Day has already passed, since its still May I feel its appropriate to celebrate Mom’s Day. There is a reason I say ‘Mom’ and not ‘Mother’ though. A mother is simply a female that bears a child, while a mom is much more. You can be a mother and not necessarily a mom (how sad!) and you can most definitely be mom without being a mother. I believe this the same way I believe that a house is not always a home, and the place you feel most at home is not always a house.
Taking the time to actually ‘raise’ children is a huge dividing factor between moms and mothers. As sad as it is to think about on Mom’s Day, it must be remembered that there are negligent and abusive mothers out there in the world. Of course I hope that one day they become ‘moms’, but until then my biggest hope is that their children have another ‘mom’ figure to look up to. Notice I didn’t say maternal figure, and that this is what I mean by saying that a mom doesn’t necessarily need to be mother. Children of same-sex couples can most definitely still have a mom figure in their lives, regardless of whether or not they have two dads. What matters here is not sex or gender, but love. This is another dividing factor between a mom and mother- love. A mother is not required to love her children, but a mom does so unconditionally.
I call my mother ‘Mom’ because that’s what she is. She is not simply the female who gave birth to me, she is also the woman who raised me. From my very birth she (with the help of my dad of course) took it upon herself to teach me about the world, and to let me learn about it on my own as well. It is a well-known fact that are most valuable lessons are often the ones outside of the classroom, and I have been blessed with no shortage of lessons from my mother. Aside from teaching me simple life skills (how to cook, do my own laundry, write a resume, etc.) she has taught me things that cannot be measured or performed. She taught me about compassion and gratitude, sympathy and love. She taught me how to ride a bike, the best times to plant tomatoes, and the importance of patience. And there is so much more. So many lessons that I will always be grateful to her for, lessons that I only hope I will be able to pass on to my children someday. Beyond being an incredible teacher, my mom is a pair of ears when I just need to get things off my chest. She is a hand to hold when I’m nervous, a shoulder to cry on when I need it, and that extra intuition when I’m making a tough decision.
Being a mom, or parent in general, is the hardest job in the world, and that is something that I can say with confidence, despite being only 17 myself. So I’m grateful to all moms, and I hope they recognize how loved they really are. Because no matter how many times your toddler throws up on you, your 8 year-old refuses to eat his veggies, your 13 year-old tries to grow up to fast, and your 18 year-old tries to show you she can do it on her own…. You matter. You matter so much more than I think a lot of you realize. Thank you for all that you do, and Happy Mom’s Day.
Mommy, I love you :)