I remember the moment I realized how much my mother loved me.
I was a new mom, weeks from being physically healed from delivery. Holding my tiny firstborn in her nursery, I felt that terrifying, beautiful, crippling love swell within me. The maternal adoration that paralyzes you with fear of countless “what ifs”, and makes you want to kiss your baby’s hands and feet millions of times in the futile hope that maybe your touch will convey just how much she is cherished.
As my heart swelled and my eyes welled amidst the powerful wave of love, everything became clear: “This is how much my mother loves me.” I stopped, slack-jawed. I recounted the fearful times, the happy times, the frustrating times, the mundane. I reflected upon my life through a mother’s eyes, not a child’s. It was as if my eyes were finally open.
And so I now tell my own children, “You will never understand how much I love you until you become a parent, yourself.” They look at me and smile, thinking they know how deeply they are loved, but they don’t. They can’t. A mother’s love is beyond logic, beyond reason, beyond measure. The strength, breadth, and purity of a mother’s love is simply unfathomable until you become a mother.
Thank you for loving me, Mom, even when I was unlovable. Thank you for the sleepless nights, tremendous worry, necessary guidance, endless self-imposed guilt, and ecstatic rejoicing. You are a great mom, a strong woman, a doting grandmother, and giving friend. You taught me how to be a mom and that is something I cannot repay.
I love you but I know you love me more, because you’re my mother. Happy Mother’s Day!