Here’s to the mothers.
Here’s to the boo-boo kissers.
Here’s to the get up and warm the milk at 2am women.
You are much braver than you know and much more than some others might think.
There is nothing ordinary about you. You make the music that makes the life that gives the rhythm to the day in and out and in again.
Wonder. You are.
You deliver babies by C-section or adoption certificate or by push and pant and pull and wailing battle cry of birth.
You lay yourself down and open yourself up and give, give, give more than you think you have.
And when you’re empty, when you’re bone dry you wring out one more drop, one more bottle, one more soothing the tempter tantrum, one more opening up tired arms to the tireder teenager.
You make a budget stretch. You clip coupons. You fight ketchup stains.
You face the awkward parent-teacher moments. You listen. You translate for your child. You do the hard work of teaching at every turn. You find a hundred new ways to answer a hundred new versions of the question, “Why?”
You show up. You take photos. You cheer. You shuttle boys and bags of gear between sports fields and serve up french fries afterwards. You are a welcome home.
You disagree with him, you make her change her skirt, but you love fiercely from beneath those unruly bangs. You learn to laugh at your reflection.
You revel in your smiley wrinkles.
You lose your temper. You yell and apologize and stamp your foot and prove that you are human. You cry. You venture out into an ocean of vulnerability with only a small dinghy and two short oars to keep you afloat when you become a parent.
And you do it more than once. A mother can get sea sick from all this turbulent love.
You yield your figure, your abs, your size 4 jeans but your will turns to muscle unheard of – iron hard; it grows heavy with determination.
No one will wound these children without going through you first. You will protect them from yourself if you have to.
You are immovable, a last harbor, a light house in the storm of Internet and Facebook and failed grades and peer pressure.
You will not be sunk.
And then one day you uncurl your desperate fingers and find that these other pieces of yourself can float. Gently, quietly, sometimes violently. They rise and fall with the swells and find their own currents.
And you let them.