I don’t remember my mother ever tucking me in at night. Or reading me a bedtime story. Or ordering me to brush my teeth. I’m sure she did these things, but I have no recollection of these mundane moments.
Let me tell you what I do remember.
I remember waking up on a weekday to a mom with tired morning eyes, drained from a night spent interceding—for my uncle, my cousins, whomever God put on her heart. I remember waking up on a Saturday morning and overhearing her crying out to God from her bedroom. I remember my mother giving up “secular music” because “it keeps me form hearing the voice of God clearly.”
I remember her quitting her job to become a stay-at-home mom so that she could pay more attention to my sister, whose school’s disciplinary board had started paying more attention to her.
More than anything I remember my mother when the divorce happened. I remember her heeding God’s surprising invitation to “not accept alimony,” even though she needed to provide for two daughters—one in college and the other still in high school. I remember her going through culinary school, while working a full-time job. I remember because she’d drive to my apartment weekly so that I could type-out the homework she’d handwritten.
I remember a post-divorce conversation I overheard her have with a friend: “I want to love God more than I could ever love any man.” I was so moved by this prayer that I prayed it myself, for years. I watched her maker become her husband as she put herself through school, put me through college, and bought a condo first, and then a house.
These are the things I remember.
I am not a mother. Not sure if I ever will be. But I do mother. We all do. We model ways of being. We teach ways of doing, to those whom walk side-by-side with us through life’s mundane moments, be they our children, extended family, or dear friends.
This Mother’s Day, whether you have biological children or not, I encourage you to embrace the eternal legacy of all who choose to mother.