Mother’s Day is almost upon us. I’m not sure that it has sunk in with my girls that Sunday is


. It doesn’t matter. To me, they have already given me the greatest gift. The gift of myself.

16 plus years ago I was anorexic, bulemic and quite literally struggling to keep myself from losing my mind once and for all. When I got pregnant with my first child, I had an epiphany. I’ve got one chance to make a healthy baby. I’ve got to stop trying to kill myself with food and give this baby my all. When she was born I breastfed, and the sheer joy of seeing my body do what it was meant to do was cathartic.

11 months later I was p.g. again and I nursed my oldest until the calorie load was too much. At 13 months she was weaned, but I continued with my one chance for a healthy baby routine throughout the second pregnancy. I breastfed my youngest daughter until she was 15 months old. About that time the epiphany kicked in. I take care of my babies, why don’t I take care of myself? I had a few more episodes of binging and purging during this time, but the beast had been rendered somewhat toothless and clawless.

It’s amazing what you can do when food is not the center of your life. I found time to do so many other things. The reasons for my eating disorderedness are still there, they just don’t loom large enough to make me hurt myself anymore.

My kids did that, for me. They don’t know that they saved my life. But they did. That’s the best gift anyone could ask for. No macaroni necklaces, plaster handprints and hokey poems can hold a candle to that.