Though I know it is a particularly human trait to take things for granted, I work hard not to do so. (Contrast humans with our canine friends who, upon their owners returning home each day, are as happy as they have ever been.)
I thought of this last night as I watched a National Geographic special in which a newborn baby took his first breath of life. Just the notion that a mother could grow and develop a child, providing nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord, and then give birth to this new little viable human is amazing.
I have a friend who delivers babies as part of her job as a physician. She understands that she is witness to and plays a role in a miracle. I cannot think of a more special or noble job.
While not every woman can be or wants to be a mother, I honor every day the mothers around me. Mothers conceive, nurture, give birth, and then care for a child in the way only a mother can and this boggles my mind. Even the act of breastfeeding, which is largely just part and parcel of taking care of a newborn, is remarkable — feeding another small human with milk produced by your body!
Even if I weren’t of the Christian faith, I could not help but see the special place mothers have in Christianity. The mother of Jesus is revered for the way she received the news of her Son’s conception and the way she cared for Him. And part of the reason Jesus was so castigated in his culture was the way He regarded and honored women, even those who were outcasts. When Jesus died, His mother Mary was there.
Mothers are the ultimate multi-taskers, often managing to attend to their children’s school, clothing, food, and social needs while working and trying to take care of themselves. They have a sixth sense about how their children are feeling — other children too, for that matter.
One time, I stopped for a school bus on my street. As the door opened, two little girls ran out excitedly and hugged their waiting Moms. A third little girl came out with no one to greet her. One of the Moms saw this girl’s face, smiled at her, and ran over to give her a hug. This Mom instantly became my new hero.
The next time you need to feel better about modern life, think about the storehouse of empathy, care, and competence that mothers dole out continuously.
We celebrate Mother’s Day in May, but as far as I’m concerned, every day is Mother’s Day.