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May 12, 2013

a mother's day prayer.


a little while ago, having just woken up, eva slipped on her magna-doodle. she didn't cry. i was sitting on the couch and held my breath hoping she wasn't hurt. i do a lot of this now. people say you don't really know love until you have a child in your life.

people are right.

she walked over to me and climbed into my lap. we watched mickey mouse clubhouse while ben made her favorite, pancakes. she sat back on my chest sucking her thumb and i was overcome with love. i was reminded just how much i love this girl. this smart, happy, beautiful girl in my lap and this warm, big, beautiful brown lab next to us and this kind, loving, funny man cooking in the kitchen. i felt blessed that she came to me. later today when she falls again she may run to ben and i'm okay with that. ben has been everything for that girl since the day she was born two years and one month ago.  

i didn't know love with a man until ben. but i didn't know what full-circle, i have come home love was until eva. the sound of her saying good morning! cracks me open. how she runs to me in her hoodie after getting out of the tub, giggling and jumping around. how she loves taking baths more than anyone i've ever known, the sound of her saying home! hi rhi! when i walked in the door last saturday cracked me open. when ben tells me she asks for me when i'm not there. how she grabs one of my fingers at a time, the way she says, cracker, how smart she is, how she's already so warm and loving and she's only two, how the sound of her saying daddy and love you makes me feel. being partly responsible for eva, even though i did not give birth to her, is making me a better person. i want to be a better person for myself so i can be more present for her. 

loving this girl has cracked me open.

this is a lovely day, but a hard day for some. a mother is not just someone who gives birth to a baby. a mother is also one who nourishes and cares for others. let us not forget to celebrate those people today. all of those people.

happy mother's day to my dear friend amy who delivered an 8 pound, 5 ounce boy NATURALLY friday morning. sawyer joins the ranks of liam and ben in what is a ridiculously good-looking brood of erwin boys. i tip my hat to this woman. she is a wonderful source of friendship and guidance when i email or text with toddler questions or life questions. and i'm so thankful for her.

happy mother's day to our dear friend nina who gave birth to twin boys last month, on eva's birthday! alexander and michael are beautiful and nina, you are amazing.

happy mother's day to my lovely friend bradey who along with her husband coby and their families, dedicated their beautiful daughter adelaide at their church yesterday. this woman oozes love. and it's a wonderful reminder of something to strive for.

happy mother's day to my two cousins, maureen and peg, both pregnant right now. i can't wait to meet your little ones!

happy mother's day to my cousins and aunts, my godmother, and my grandma.

happy mother's day to the women in my life no longer here with us. i miss you and often think, what would grandma dee do in this moment? what would great grandma phyllis do? 

happy mother's day to all of the single mommas out there doing everything on their own. 

happy mother's day to all of the men who serve as mommy and daddy and best friend.

happy mother's day to all of the women and men who adopt and create a family this way. 

happy mother's day to all of the wonderful gay couples i know, some of the most supportive parents i know.

happy mother's day to the women i've worked with who have become both mother-figures and dear friends. i'm looking at you, stacy. 

happy mother's day to my mom, brenda adele. i'm so grateful we're where we are now. i'm grateful for your daily emails and texts and the fact that we never leave your house without yet another gift for eva. i'm grateful for your patience and unwavering love for me these past twenty eight years. i know i didn't always make it easy. and i'm sorry my stubborn streak started in the womb as i was ten pounds and eleven days late. i really do feel bad about this.

happy mother's day to the women who've had babies and lost babies, the women who are in the midst of trying with every ounce of strength to have babies. i pray for these women and their partners that their journeys become less trying. that God will send them a sign and a break and help them keep their faith. 

there shouldn't be a day set aside to remind the world to be thankful for anyone who mothers. in any way. but there is. so we give the cards and send the flowers and say thank you.

let step one be remembering to say this more often. every day, multiple times a day. let us pause and know how lucky we are to either have our mothers or mother-figures or someone to take care of.

family is family and love is love and blessings come in many different forms. they do not have to follow any "conventional path." love is love. let us never forget this. 

let us remember to be open to all of these blessings and forms of love that fill us. let them fill us. and let us not get bogged down in the titles, but in the meanings behind the words. 

i am in awe of the strength of all of mothers and fathers in this world. i hope today, tomorrow, and the next you always know how appreciated and loved you are. thank you to all parents who teach and help, who make the sandwiches and help with the homework, who are nurse and doctor and teacher and chef. who stop the crying and start the giggling and do the laundry and the cleaning. who do it all because they love. 

and it is love and loving one another that fills us up.

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