I've come to the conclusion that Mother's Day, besides being the day to honor the person who did most of the heavy lifting during the formative years, is also a day to honor and show love to all of the special women in our lives. In my case, that includes a special aunt, my daughter (who is my special "schister"), my daughters in law (who are, in my mind, like actual daughters) my granddaughters, many nieces, and a few good friends.
My Aunt Margie is my mom's sister. She would come over after work, and on weekends and play with us, take us to the beach, and let us ride in her little Triumph with the top down. (My love of convertibles comes from her.) She has always treated us as if we were her own. When I struggled with math homework, she would help me. My dad is a math genius, but he lacks the teaching gene. And my mind doesn't make logical pathways. It's more like a freestyle dance. First here, then there, then 5 steps ahead, back again, and sometimes it just does the hokey-pokey. Math doesn't thrive in my head, and I was a major math thorn in my dad's side. So Margie would patiently explain over and over again until I understood it enough to complete the homework. She was a godsend, and she has become a fixture in the lives of my children as well, attending graduations and celebrations of all kinds. I honor her.
My daughter taught me how special the mother daughter bond is, and how your heart both swells with pride when they are big girls and leave home for the first time, and how it also breaks just a little bit.
She is spunky and bold. She is tender and sweet. She is a mother herself, with two sweet daughters who love to please her. Just yesterday, Mia had her pick a "flower" from her handmade Mother's Day card (the flowers each one represent a separate chore) and then she spent the next hour dusting the house for Katie so Mommy could take a little nap after coaching soccer all afternoon. Then, as a special bonus, she got Hayden dressed and ready to go to the playground. It makes my heart happy to see how these little girls are learning from her and from each other how to love, and how to be mothers. I honor Katie and her sweet girls.
In addition to a daughter, I'm blessed to have such special daughters in law. Ronna and Ashley are the icing on the cake. They love my sons (I'm so thankful for that!) and Ronna is also an excellent mother. Her three children are loving and sweet, and Lexi is the little mother hen watching over the other two. She is helpful to her mommy, and she carries on sweet conversations with Mema every time I call. Ashley never fails to make me feel special and like an essential part of her life. The two of them are a wonder. I honor both of them, and also little Lexi and Skylee, who are learning all about being great mothers from Ronna.
I have nieces galore - both in my family and L's who are my idols when it comes to great mothering and/or being amazing women. If I'd been like them when I was their age, I'd be miles ahead of where I am today. I don't know whether they realize it or not, but I watch them, and learn so much from their beautiful examples of kindness, righteousness, and devotion to good. I've also learned how to shed my shell a bit, and put myself out there. They've taught me the joys of cutting loose through their total acceptance of me. I honor them for the women and mothers some are, and the women and mothers the others will yet be. (Thank you Sarah, Emily, Sherri, Margot, Ariana, Krystal, Kandace, Kaylene, Karina, Brittany, Kassidy and Madison!)
I've been blessed with other great women in my life who have had powerful influence on me as well. They teach me about acceptance and patience. About putting others first. About appreciating the diversity and great quirkiness in all of us. It's what makes this world go around - it's the spice in our lives, and I do like a lot of spice. Mucho caliente. Some I've known for awhile, and some of you (as in my great blogging sister friends) I've only known for a short while. But know this: if I come and read about your lives and take the time to answer and comment, you are important to me. I think about you when the computer is off, take joy in the good, and pray that your life's problems will resolve. A couple of you I've actually met in real time and knowing you has blessed my life like no other. (You know who you are!) I hope to eventually meet all of you - wouldn't that be fun? But no matter what, I honor you. For the women you are, for the choices you make, for the example you lay out in front of me. You've taught me a thing or two along the way, and I've tried to emulate the courage and faith and pure gutsiness I've seen. You're all - each one - a wonder.
So to great women who play such important roles in our lives - whether they are here with us, or have been gone awhile; whether they are mothers, sisters, friends or other relations - I honor each and every one of you.