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24 years ago I was prepping to be a mother for the first time. I was tired and full of baby. A baby whose sex I did not know and whose good health was only a wish.  I could have peeked and done all sorts of tests but I didn’t.  I was lucky both times in the baby lotto. Healthy and hearty each one. 

I couldn’t know on that day what kind of work was in store for me. The mind numbing, bone deep fatigue that made up the better part of the next 20 years. I also couldn’t know the incredible joy that waited on the other side of that very steep climb. Watching the swift and achingly inexorable growth spurts, weaning, toilet training, driver’s licenses, broken hearts, dashed dreams, pimples, periods, achievement awards, new boy friends, first crushes, first kisses, prom queens, opening nights and now real world jobs. 

I’m incredibly proud of the trajectory their lives have taken. My children will go farther and faster than I can imagine. They are sure footed and agile as they move in their own elements.  Sometimes they are stubborn and slightly mental (I wonder where they got that from?) I only hope they see themselves with the love and admiration I have for them. 

You don’t need to raise children to learn how to become human. For me, it was a blessing to care about someone else’s life more than my own for a bit. It was also a shortcut to a place of understanding. How different the mothering can be. How harsh and difficult. I’m glad I became a mother, it began a healing process that continues. 

To any one who mothers, enjoy your day. Foster care for humans or animals, parenting sibling when your own parents are gone, watching over an elderly parent, making a home for someone. You deserve to see that the world is a better place because of what you do.