So to all the mothers out there, with children in your arms, or in your hearts; for those you can see, and those that left our world too soon; for those that came from your body, or came to your family through the body of another - Happy Mother's Day. - A Swift Doula
I'm not talking about "girlfriends" exactly, those spritely angels who whisk us away from our children and households for the occasional escape. They are essential in their own way.
I'm talking about the women whose lives run alongside ours, parallel in some way or another, wherein we come to gently and happily rely on each other. Sometimes it's just a smile, some moral support from someone who understands how harried life can get. A moment of human connection in between activity drop offs and grocery shopping. Other times this friend is the first person to know when we've had bad news, or when we need someone to watch the kids in an emergency. Sometimes they know more about us than anyone else.
I see people for whom this is a lifelong relationship, like a sister or best friend, though sometimes we meet equally amazing women who are in our lives for just a season. Our kids are in the same school, or we are running the local Girls Scout troop together… Whatever the duration, a camaraderie exists, and an unexplained intimacy forms in which we live our day to day lives loosely in sync.
Touching base with phone calls or texts, taking turns with carpool, and coffee runs. They help us get through a certain stage in our lives that otherwise might have been lonely or difficult. Their companionship makes the road smoother, makes the sometimes bland seem sweeter. Or when all else fails and all you can do is laugh, funnier.
I used to feel sad when such seasons would end. Back when my children finished preschool, I felt as if I was graduating as well - starting somewhere new, not knowing the terrain very well. A bit at a loss.
A fairly close group of us had been raising our children together for a few years, and I knew that I would see these wonderful women less and less.. I think that while we don't all see each other with the same frequency, and didn't remain as close, that bond still exists somewhere, there is still that sisterhood. They shared something with me - over coffees and bleary, tired, half-smiles - that I'll always have. Their personal experiences. Advice that made me realize my own feelings about an issue. Insight into a different culture, or way of life. A laugh when I need one. They were integral to that stage of life and motherhood for me. They've stayed with me in many ways.
And now new friends are added to those older treasures. Traveling friends, online friends, homeschooling friends, others we meet as we make our way, being us, doing what we do. I am always amazed that I think I've met my fair share of kindred spirits along this road, and still more come. It's a veritable tribe of smart, interesting, caring, funny women that I carry along with me in this journey every day.
It has been a dream of mine to host a Mother's Day brunch for all of these amazing moms I know, to acknowledge how they give their whole hearts to mothering every day and still have time for all their acts of kindness and generosity and love for the women around them, and for me. But I could probably never gather so many people around one table. Surely my heart would burst with joy and gratitude before I could intelligently speak, but this is what I hope I would say:
You build me up. I am better because I've known you. Thank you.
Authored by Jennifer Holman.
Some spacing and emphasis by A Swift Doula