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Here Is to All the Mothers

Contributed By Alana Hodges

 If you send this to just one person, 

it should make it all the way around
the world by Mother's Day.

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night 

with sick toddlers in their arms, 

wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners 

and cherry Kool-Aid saying, 

"It's okay honey, Mommy's here."

Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end 

soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the mothers who show up at work 

with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses 

and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies 

and sew Halloween costumes. 

And all the mothers who DON'T.

 This is for the mothers 

who gave birth to babies they'll never see. 

And the mothers who took those babies 

and gave them homes.

This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections 

are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

 And for all the mothers who froze their buns 

on metal bleachers at football or soccer games 

instead of watching from the warmth of their cars,
so that when their kids asked, 

"Did you see me, Mom?" 

they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it 

for the world," and mean it.

 This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids

 in the grocery store and swat them in despair 

when they stomp their feet and scream for ice
cream before dinner. 

And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but
realize how child abuse happens.

 This is for all the mothers 

who sat down with their children and
explained all about making babies. 

And for all the (grand) mothers who
wanted to,

 but just couldn't find the words.

 This is for all the mothers who go hungry, 

so their children can eat. 

For all the mothers who read "Goodnight, Moon" 

twice a night for a year. And then read it again.

 "Just one more time."

 This is for all the mothers 

who taught their children to tie their
shoelaces before they started school. 

And for all the mothers who opted
for Velcro instead.

 This is for all the mothers 

who teach their sons to cook and their
daughters to sink a jump shot.

 This is for every mother 

whose head turns automatically when a little
voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, 

even though they know their own offspring
are at home -- 

or even away at college.

 This is for all the mothers 

who sent their kids to school with stomach
aches assuring them they'd be just FINE 

once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse 

an hour later  asking them to please pick them up. 

Right away.

 This is for mothers 

whose children have gone astray, 

who can't find the words to reach them.

 This is for all the step-mothers

 who raised another woman's child or
children, and gave their time, attention, and love... 

sometimes totally

 For all the mothers

 who bite their lips until they bleed when their
14-year-olds dye their hair green.

 This is for all the mothers 

who taught their children to be peaceful, and
now pray they come home safely from a war.

 What makes a good Mother anyway? 

Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?

 The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, 

and sew a button on a shirt,
all at the same time? 

Or is it in her heart? 

Is it the ache you feel when
you watch your son or daughter 

disappear down the street, 

walking to school alone for the very first time? 

The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread,
from bed to crib at 2 A.M.

 to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?

The  panic, years later, that comes again at 2 A.M. 

when you just want to
hear their key in the door 

and know they are safe again in your home?

 Or the need to flee from wherever you are 

and hug your child when you hear
news of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?

 The emotions of motherhood are universal 

and so our thoughts are for
young mothers stumbling through diaper changes 

and sleep deprivation...

 And mature mothers learning to let go.

 For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.

Single mothers and married mothers.

 Mothers with money, mothers without.

 This is for you all.

 For all of us.

 Hang in there.

 In the end we can only do the best we can.

 Tell them every day that we love them.

 And pray.

 Please pass along to all the Moms in your life.

 "Home is what catches you when you fall -

 and we all fall."

 Please pass this to a wonderful mother you know. 

(I just did.)

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