Sometimes a thing starts to stir in me, like a steady hand circling a pot ready to boil. I don’t always know what it is, but I sit down anyway. I open this page and watch the blinking cursor and I listen.
“What do you want to say, Lord?”
All across America, mama is on the brain this weekend. I mean I ate an Oreo cake for breakfast. “Happy Mother’s Day”, I told myself. I am justified. The tear jerker commercials roll in, the blogs circulate, the crafts start lining the fridge. And mimosas! God, mimosas. Bless Him. Spiking our breakfast juice has somehow become a classy and socially acceptable staple. Go ahead and dress up my coffee while you’re at it, would you?
But this holiday is so tricky. Tricky because motherhood is tricky. Because humanity is tricky. Because we women can’t be defined by the color pink, or the meals we cook, or the condition of our womb.
I sit. I listen. I mull over what my heart stirs in.
He reminded me of Eve. A mama who made the pivotal mistake. The mama who literally screwed up her kids. All of us kids. The mother who knew what it was like to commune with the tangible Creator. She knew joy and she knew heartache. The first woman to ever bury her child.
I can feel His affection towards Eve. Eve his daughter. Eve His firstborn. Eve who set into motion His plan of Redemption. Eve who tried to hide. Eve who He went after. Eve who felt tragedy and triumph.
We try to put motherhood into this box. But then we always forget somebody, don’t we? So we cram everyone in, making room for the sorta mothers or the not mothers or the single mothers or the motherless mothers. The new mothers, and the tired mothers, the foster mothers and the spiritual mothers.
And I love this about us, I do. A lot of people recognize the conundrum that is “Mother’s” Day and they fight hard for ones in-between. There are people brave enough to teeter the line between honoring the ones who celebrate with cheer and grieving with the ones who are found with hearts lacking. On my first Mother’s Day, when I didn’t have a baby to show for it, I can list the names of the few who fit me into that box. They remembered. They honored me.
But still I was left in my identity crisis.
Even now, two kids earthside, I read the blogs and hang the crafts on my fridge. I mix up a pitcher of mommy juice (don’t judge) and think about this tricky little holiday.
“What do you want to say to me, Lord?”
I picture the lines of that box vanishing. An avalanche, if you will. All the mothers and not mothers and happy mothers and sad mothers all trickle down through the broken definitions and land in His lap.
Our Father’s lap.
The place where no woman is forgotten. Where none are squeezed in. Where no woman is defined by what she produces, or seen just by what she tends to. Where all women are honored because they are daughters. Where all women receive identity, and fulfillment, and strength, and dignity.
The place we find comfort when our arms are empty. Where we find grace when our arms are tired. This is the seat we take when we don’t fit in. When who we are gets blurry. It’s the moments we get washed over. Where shame is wiped off us and expectations can sleep.
It’s the eyes that spark when we are excited. The hands that clasp when we can’t contain our thrill.
It’s where I rest in being a daughter. It’s the box with no lines. The love with no limits.
It’s identity. It’s mine. It’s yours. This Day and every other day, for every other year.