I dreamt of being a mother from the day I understood the concept.
Sunday mornings my father would preach the sermon while I squirmed in my seat. At his closing, my mom would release me from the pew.
I would run to the nursery, thrilled to have a few minutes with the babies before their moms came to pick them up.
I was 5-years-old.
What I didn’t realize then, but know now is that I had certain instincts about babies at a very early age. I knew how to hold them, soothe them, put them to sleep, feed them. I was confident and felt completely at ease with a baby in my care.
I remember once soothing a baby to sleep whose mother was exhausted from trying – I was 9.
I am drawn to babies like a magnet. My face lights up, my heart melts. I yearn to hold them and enjoy them and treasure them.
I recently visited a dear friend of mine who had just given birth to her third child. I drew such delight and sense of purpose from loving on her son and on her. She allowed me to comfort him, rock him, put him to sleep – to take that task from her for the time I was with her. To give her respite from the minute by minute demands of motherhood. I couldn’t have been more grateful to have that time to love on her through her infant son.
For some, I recognize these instincts do not come naturally. For others, the desire to be a mother is nonexistant. And, for many the desire is unfulfilled bringing with it lost dreams and heartache.
Then, there are those who have lost a child – whose pain is beyond comprehension.
This Mother’s Day, I am aware that I will not assume that all women I greet are mothers nor that all women have happy feelings or memories this day. There are many who will avoid the malls, the restaurants, the places where families gather in order to avoid their deep pain and sense of loss.
I can’t possibly understand what a life of infertility feels like, or what it is like to lose a child. But, I can ask God to give me compassion towards those who do. To see with His eyes and to love with His heart.
Sensitize me, oh Lord, to the needs of your children. Make me compassionate as you are compassionate. Be with those this Mother’s Day who carry a heavy heart and do not rejoice in today’s celebrations. Amen.
Happy Mother’s Day,