Every Mother's Day, I like to give a little shout-out to all the women who mother in the nontraditional sense. Foster moms, stepmoms, adoptive moms, neighborhood moms, church moms, dog moms, den moms, moms-to-be...women who watch out for the young and tender hearts in their world, who care and guide them into fuller, wiser lives.
I had an amazing mom, but there were so many women in my young life who took an interest in me and cared about shaping me for the better, and I am grateful every day for their influence. I also consider myself lucky, in my adult life, to have gotten a glimpse of the trials and triumphs involved in caring for someone else's child (stepmoms: I get it now. You have my ultimate respect, and I am continually in awe of those of you who cherish your role and do it well).
And this year, especially, my heart has been cracked opened for another family of women: Those mothers-to-be who know firsthand the struggle and the perseverance it can take just to bring another little being into this world, and the mothers-of-angels who know the grief and grace it takes to have had to give a child back. Sometimes it can break your heart, to simply get to the motherhood of things...so more than anyone, I wish you this day.
Caring without obligation or reward is pretty much one of the most amazing things a person can do on this planet. So here's to you, ladies: Happy Mother's Day.
The world is grateful for you, and so am I.