Count me among the vast horde who never realized how significant a holiday Mother's Day is until I became one myself.
Thank you, mom, for the occasional "special day" when I got to take off school and go shopping at the mall with you and eat a Carl's Jr. Famous Star and onion rings for lunch. And thank you for eating the tomatoes from my burger.
Thank you, step-mom, for taking me, an ungrateful, alien creature into your home and feeding me homemade doughnuts and potstickers, and tortillas made from scratch. Also for the handmade Christmas stockings.
Thank you, mother-in-law, for helping us clean the house when we MOVED. Nothing says "I love you" like being perfectly willing to clean someone else's bathroom after they take all the stuff out of it.
I hope I can live up to it all. The paradox of motherhood is that, while one loves one's children with an intensity that borders on frightening, one can also be terribly bored by playing pirates for more than two minutes.
Pretty much the instant I gave birth to a child for the first time, I felt an enormous debt of gratitude to every woman from the beginning of time who's ever gone through with it. As I've resisted the urge to toss an unpleasant child out the window, I've gained a new respect for even the most damaging of mothers who at least made the attempt to raise their children.
To me the joy of motherhood is to have the opportunity of loving someone I've known since the day he was born. To see Nels pick up a new book and look it over and take it over to his corner in the sectional sofa, cocooned with all the throw pillows, and settle in for what would be a good read if he actually read yet. For Willem to throw his arms around my neck when I am sitting cross-legged on the floor and to say "Hi" with his mouth almost on mine. Motherhood is a burden and a gift, one I feel undeserving of but grateful for almost every day. Here's to all you moms out there, biological or otherwise. Here's to all the women who have taken it upon themselves to love and nurture, and to God who teaches and shows us how to do it.