Mother’s Day in Florida!
For those of you who support me by reading my blog faithfully, I must apologize for failing to post yesterday on a day that may have been very hard for you. After rising around 3:30am to start my voyage back home from a few days with my mom in Florida, I was one whooped puppy. I decided to practice what I preach by taking care of “me” with a long nap and leisurely afternoon.
I also know just how important Mother’s Day can be, thus it was important to me to only write about it when I was of clear mind. So, here goes.
Yesterday when I arrived home someone important in my life handed me a card from Cardinal Mindszenty (my friend is Catholic) and a red rose. In his kind and compassionate heart he was meaning to honor me as a woman, yet I found myself quite offended at what this Catholic card said.
The Most Important Person
on earth is a mother. She
cannot claim the honor of
having built Notre Dame
Cathedral. She need not. She
has built something more
magnificent than any
cathedral–a dwelling for an
immortal soul, the tiny
perfection of her baby’s
body…The angels have not
been blessed with such a
grace. They cannot share in
God’s creative miracle to bring
new saints to Heaven. Only a
human mother can. Mothers
are closer to God the Creator
than any other creature; God
joins forces with mothers in
performing this act of
creation…What on God’s
good earth is more glorious
than this: to be a mother?
– Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty
Now I knew right away, before I even finished reading it, that this was written by a man. A man with wonderful intentions to honor the might and strength of “woman.” Yet a man who truly has no idea what it is to be a mother.
I believe that carrying a child in our womb is a gift from God, an incredible miracle. Yet, I believe it is a miracle that God gives to some women, while leading others to a higher calling.
When I first learned that conceiving may never be possible for me, I was crushed. Yet the first thing a dear friend said to me was “what a blessing you have.”
You see, I have always felt that my heart had room in it for children who didn’t come from my body. My friend’s point was that it is easy to love what came from us, we are biologically programmed for that. Yet, it is a gift from God to have the ability to love what arrived apart from us.
Being a mother is not about allowing your body to swell, dealing with uncomfortableness, varicose veins, or sore raw nipples. Being a mother has absolutely nothing to do with those things.
Being a mother is about sitting up all night with a baby who is congested, just to make sure that their little belly continues to go up and down.
Being a mother is about feeling the dagger in your heart when your child first says “I hate you,” yet still saying “no” to their request.
Being a mother is about hearing two little feet padding along the floor, and sniffles coming from down the hallway. And knowing that combination means a bad dream, and that soon a little person will crawl into bed with you (even though you haven’t had sex with your husband for a month).
Being a mother is about everything that comes after the pushing, after the cries of agony, after the conceived has completed.
Each of us women may, or may not, bring a child into our arms and our hearts by conceiving through our bodies. This minor point is truly, not the point, on Mother’s Day.
So while I thank Cardinal Mindszenty for understanding and appreciating the powerful biological capability of the female body, I fully intend to send a letter to the Catholic church urging them to expand their viewpoint of motherhood to truly encompass that which it is–a deep, faithful, act of the greatest love possible from one human being to another.
And that perhaps, just maybe, that love is even greater when it comes from one whom God has called to mother a child who God delivered to them via a longer route. For it is those women whose hearts have been molded in the fire, and who have withstood the greatest test of faith. All for the love of becoming a mother.