Sunday, May 13, 2012

To Mothers

I'm hesitant to write anything at all today. It's Mother's Day, and there is much to be celebrated: my mother, my mother-in-law, my stepmother, women who have mothered me, and so many friends with sweet children who add joy to my life. I don't want to take anything away from the celebration today or show up to the party with a dark cloud hanging over my head, totally killing the buzz. Today, like most days, is not about me and I do not intend to make it so.

But I think I'd be remiss if I didn't stop, for just a moment, and acknowledge that today is not an easy day. For me and so many women who long to join the ranks of mothers - to have some precious, sticky kid hand us a card made of construction paper, Elmer's glue, and macaroni noodles. I hold in my heart so many stories of loss and denial, most of them given to me in just the last week or so, by dear women who want children. Today reminds us of what we lack and for just a few seconds, I'd like to say to us: it's okay. It's okay if today hurts.


One by one
every woman I know
approaches me
carrying words

it happened to me
my mother
my sister
my best friend

four times in a row
before the baby came
once, before
I even knew

three times
over six years
and then children
healthy and perfect

just keep breathing
in and out
around the stone
you’ve swallowed

I’ve been there
I am holding you
you won’t feel this way

— Rachel Barenblat

Thank you, mothers, for a moment to remember and grieve, even as we celebrate you. And I'll start by taking my sweet mother, who got on a plane yesterday just to squeeze me today, to brunch for a champagne toast to mothers.

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