Happy Mother’s Day!

Last year was my first Mother’s Day, but in the last year I’ve come to appreciate what the holiday means even more.

Living what it is to be a mother—the millions of choices and actions and books read and songs sung and car seats buckled and tempers checked and lunches fixed and owies kissed every single day—underscores everything the mothers in my own life have done (and continue to do).

mother and daughter moustachesMy own mom believed in me fiercely. She encouraged me to turn every interest or passion into a business, certain that someone would want to buy tiny animals sculpted out of wire or t-shirts covered in my angsty teenage poetry.

Graduation with in-lawsMy mother-in-law has always been unequivocally welcoming and accepting. Her hugs, confidences and phone calls made me feel as if it were a given that I am one of the family. I will never, ever, ever forget or take for granted the way she embraced me as one of her own.

Argentine host mom meets babyMy mama argentina, my host mother when I studied abroad in college, welcomed me as a stranger into her home. Ana and I chatted every night as she made dinner or as I sipped a submarino—a hot chocolate—at the breakfast bar. I left, four months later, as part of the familia and continue to love that collection of characters from afar—even as they expand their families.

great grandma grandpa and grandma with babygrandma Bessie sunflowerfour generations women grandmasAnd my grandmothers, of course, whose mothering I feel through the generations. These strong, beautiful women raised families amid less than ideal circumstances without complaint. My Grandma Hawkins, for example, loves to tell me about the moment when she discovered she was pregnant with twins—my mom and Uncle Steve.

She already had one baby at home and not a whole lot of income or support, but when she got back from the doctor, she stood in the middle of the kitchen and hugged her just-starting-to-expand belly. Then she threw her arms out and spun around. She couldn’t contain her happiness and couldn’t believe her luck that she was carrying twins—twins!—a secret wish she’d always carried.

These are the kinds of moments that make up motherhood. Yes, parenting is also colored with frustrations and peanut butter stains and pooplosions and sleepless nights, but it’s the joy and reward and unending gratitude that stick with us.

day-old newborn with mom hospitalThat gratitude stretches in both directions, toward both generations. I cannot express how thankful I am to my daughter and this growing life inside me for choosing us as their family. I am also thankful to the long line of women who wiped noses and corrected homework and spun in kitchens so that I could be here.

So I’m sending love to all the mamas in my life—the ones who helped raise me, the ones who brought up my loved ones, the ones who I’ve known since they were kids, the ones who struggled so hard to become pregnant, the ones who are celebrating their first holiday as moms. You all deserve to be celebrated every day, but these 24 hours are dedicated to you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

0 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day!

  • May 10, 2015 at 9:03 am
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    That was beautiful Catherine! Especially since this is the first Mother’s Day without my mom!

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    • May 10, 2015 at 1:18 pm
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      Thank you, Pat! Sending hugs and support this Mother’s Day especially, as you think of your mother and remember her. xo

      Reply
  • May 10, 2015 at 10:59 am
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    Lovely dedication. Sounds like you’ve been surrounded by heaps of motherly love, and you can see it in the way you love your own sweet child 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!

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  • May 10, 2015 at 4:26 pm
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    I love that story of your grandma spinning around in her kitchen. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone.

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  • May 10, 2015 at 9:56 pm
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    Oh, I just love this. Everyday is a chance to celebrate the amazing creatures that mothers (in all forms) are. Cheers to you!

    Reply
  • May 11, 2015 at 7:54 pm
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    Really lovely post to honor all mothers 😘 I love you baby mama best mama hugs

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  • May 12, 2015 at 2:26 pm
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    Ha, love the first photo with all the mustaches. It’s true that although Mother’s Day is a special callout to celebrate and have gratitude, we should remember to do it all year round – maybe not constant brunches and cards, but definitely the awareness of feeling that gratitude, and the expression of love and thankfulness.

    Reply
    • May 12, 2015 at 2:27 pm
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      Here, here! Although I wouldn’t mind an ongoing parade of brunches. 😉

      Reply

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