Saying Thank You to My Mom on Mother’s Day
When I found out I was expecting a baby, I had to tell my mom first. She lived 2,000 miles away, so there was no way I could see her reaction. After my first ultrasound, I scanned the grainy, black-and-white images of my future. Fuzzy and curled, the baby had an elongated Picasso-esque face wearing the carefree expression of weightlessness.
In one of the images, the humanoid shape had turned to face the machine, with a wide infant skeletal grin and outstretched arms. I told the ultrasound tech that looked like an alien gummy bear. She told me it was probably about the same size.
I actually dialed out my mom’s number on my cell phone. The moment seemed monumental enough to need the action of dialing.
Months later, I crouched on the queen-sized bed at the birthing center. It was exactly as we had planned – no drugs, no machines. Quiet and intimate, and focused on this moment that would make me a mother.
Labor is every bit as painful as anyone has ever told you, and no one in the world knows that better than another mother. My eyes cut through my dripping curtain of hair and knife-sharp breath, at my mom, holding my hands. Her gaze was warm and serious. Her eyes took up half her face.
“Come on sweetheart. You can do it,” her voice was an iron mass in the room, something I could grab onto and make sense of. “One more push.”
My mom held my son when he was a few seconds old. I don’t remember much about those minutes, but I remember her face glowing as she stared down at his little face, repeating, “He looks just like you. Just like you.”
It was true that he no longer looked like an alien gummy bear. Now he looked like a little alien person. Plump, pink, with all the fingers and toes a mother could want. And I looked at my mother holding him and saw something I had never seen before: my mother holding me.
Since that moment nearly three years ago, I haven’t been able to forget how my mother holds me still, everyday.
A mother never stops being a mother. Once a mother, it is at the center of you until the day you die. She told me that when I was young, but I understand better now. Although, how could I forget: she’s been doing it ten times longer, so she’s at least ten times better at it.
So thank you to my mother, at least ten times, for every day of my life.
This Mother’s Day, all you need is one word.
My mother is: Heart
I love you, Mom.