A Mother By Any Other Name
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Mother's day, like any other holiday, can cause mixed feelings. For those of us whose moms have passed on, it is a painful reminder that they are no longer physically with us.
For women who are not labeled with the noun, mother, it can be a day where one feels uncomfortable or left out.
It is my wish that Mother's day be a time when we can salute both those who are titled mother, and the people who live life mothering others. To mother someone is to place their needs before our own. Merriam Webster defines the verb mother as to care for or protect like a mother.
To mother is to nurture. I was fortunate to have had the example of both a mother and grandmother who not only nurtured my sister and myself, but were exceptional to everyone around them. Mom mothered the many in the office she ran for decades, while Grandma fed and entertained all of the kids in our neighborhood.
Recently I was talking to Susan, my closest friend since childhood. "Your grandma used to feed the kids down the street, too?" She asked. "I thought it was just us."
To mother someone is to make them feel special. That they put you before others. Mothers make you feel like you matter.
I have been so fortunate in the mothers that I have known. Many of whom have never borne or raised children.
Mrs. Deanie, the softball coach who fixed the awkward stances of my eight year old self. In the three year period that she coached our uncoordinated team, we went from worst in the league to champions.
Mrs. Hale, my high school English and drama teacher. All of the evenings she advised us and directed us in plays, Saturdays that she accompanied us to competitions, nights that she stayed up making roast beefs to sell at our tournament fundraisers.
Sensei Michelle, who taught me that I can kick ass and take names. Who made me understand that self defense is the smallest part of karate. Growing as a person is the goal.
My girlfriends and relatives who have mothered me for so long in so many ways. Susan, Meral, Gail, Annica, Lee and Ellen. Michelle, Chantalle and Jesse. Stacey, Sommer and Laura. Linda, Lisa, Abbe, Gabby, Trish and Patricia. Miss Lee, Joy, Marilisa, Melissa and Chrissy. Pam, Kathy and Kim.
My Auntie Mame, who has enriched my life in both joyful and surprising ways.
All of these women have led by example. I am so grateful and thankful to all of them.
To the legions of people who are the selfless examples of humanity's best: teachers, nurses, coaches, cooks and servers, flight attendants, counselors and many more.
Happy Mother's Day!