While the words “choice” and “mother” have both been distorted by politicians and ideologues, I ask you to consider both words in a different light for Mothers’ Day. Motherhood is an hourly, daily, and a lifetime of choices. They all matter. The little choices and the big get all mixed up together. We second-guess our choices; we rework them; we think we have to justify them; we stick with them long after they are useful - all because we’re mothers. We abandon all reason when we make some of them, and others keep us up considering alternatives night after night.
The intensity with which we experience this state called motherhood can be incredibly painful. Even those glorious moments - the pride (and relief) that comes with the first “mama” or the first step can break our hearts. The wrenching fears(and the relief) that come with that first day of school bring tears, as do the first “A” and the first “D”. No one can understand why most of us can cry every single time the Hallmark commercial mom comes downstairs to see her son in his military uniform standing in the kitchen. We cry because being a mother is painful. Wearing our hearts outside of our chests is painful. Having no choice but to allow a six-year-old, a fifteen-year-old or a 35-year-old to manipulate our hearts, toss them around, and every once in a while pat them gently - is tough stuff. It’s the stuff of motherhood. The love we feel is so ridiculously overpowering that it can cause us to go ballistic when a car drives too fast down our neighborhood street. It can cause us to fly into a classroom or a principal’s office and accuse them of humiliating, demeaning, or (this is the worst one) singling out our child for punishment. It can also cause us to become irrationally irate when we find out our child might have embellished the story a little bit when she sent us armed and ready for battle into the school to defend her. If you have ever seen a mother on TV insisting that her son did not steal that car, despite the fact that he was found driving the car, and it was hotwired, oh, and there was a video of him getting in it and driving off - unless you’re a mother, you think she must be nuts. We understand completely that she is compelled to defend her child - against all reason and logic - and that she will insist until her dying day that he was set up.
We choose to sing “Underwear is Everywhere” in the car, and we choose to dress up and play Avengers for hours while the food hardens on the dishes in the sink. We choose to mother a child whose own mom made the most difficult choice ever. We choose to say “no” to a later curfew or another hour on the device. We choose to be the “mean mom”. We make these choices until they break our hearts when our kids tell us we’re not fair, or even that they don’t love us. And that’s just it, isn’t it - the love is it. The one choice we don’t have to make is the choice to love them more than life itself. When God decides to give us these children He pulls our hearts out, fills them until they are ridiculously full, warns us that no matter how much love we give, our hearts will always be bursting at the seams - and that is painful - and wonderful.
“Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.” Steinbeck
Dates to Remember:
May 10 Muffins for Moms and May Procession, 8:45am
11 Grades 4 & 5 to John Paul II Center
Mass at noon
12&13 Eighth Grade Bake Sale after Masses
14 Inclusion Symposium begins
15 Inclusion Symposium continues until 4:30pm
16 Eighth grade to Patrol Picnic
4-9 Potomac Pizza Fundraiser
17 Sixth grade to Forensics Lab
18 Mass at Noon
21 Eighth Grade Etiquette Luncheon, 10:45 - 12:45
23 Volunteer Breakfast, 8:30 am
Eighth Grade girls to Mrs. McGann’s for manicures
Mrs. McGann, Principal
OLOL Wednesday Words by Patricia McGann is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.