As I was preparing to get my kids ready for school this year, for weeks now, I kept going back to gratitude. I am so grateful for a number of things, but at the top of my list is always, always, always my children. I’m one of the lucky ones. I have kids. Two of them, in fact. They’re happy, they’re healthy and there is a lot of love in our family. Some yelling and bickering, yes, but that makes us that much more of a family.
I told my husband earlier this summer, jokingly, that if our kids are alive and well at the end of the summer, that he needed to bring me flowers. To celebrate that we made it. Not only did we make it, but we made many memories over the summer months that I won’t soon forget.
I’ve seen my newsfeed explode with pictures of kids on their first day back to school, of Mamas celebrating and cheering, of steaming cups of coffee being drank hot and in blissful silence. Oh yes, I’ve seen it all. And I’ve celebrated and rejoiced. I, too, will be posting pictures of my kids as they head off on their life’s journey.
But, I keep thinking about our Mamas out there who have lost their babies. Those who will never get to experience the joy of the first day of school. Those that have experienced it, but now due to illness, accident or whatever circumstance life (and death) has thrown their way will not experience it again.
To those mothers, I am writing to you. I want you to know that in the celebration of kids off to school there is no disrespect. That we honour you and please know that I will be sending you healing and positive thoughts today. It must be an excruciating day for you. There is NO WAY I can ever understand what you go through, but I can imagine there is such sadness for your loss and anger towards the mothers who are celebrating having no children at home.
As a mother who is celebrating the first day back to school for my kids, it’s not so much about not having them with me, I’m celebrating that they’re growing up and becoming incredible people. I want to celebrate them getting older, learning and spreading their wings (as cliche as that sounds). And I know, I absolutely know, that you would love to be doing the same. I wish I could take your hurt and heartache away for you. But the only thing I can think to do is let you know that I’m here. We’re here. Reach out if you need to.
Please know that many of us, in the trenches of motherhood, take the time to reflect on how lucky we are. We are taking the time that I know you wish you had. I am not sure if this note to you will anger you, comfort you, or honour you, but please know I hope it’s the latter two. Please know I am thinking of you and I wish for you to get through this day with strength.
Forge ahead. You are a warrior. You are strong. You are remembered. You are cared for.
I will celebrate my children. I will post the pictures. I will let their excitement course through my body. And I will honour all of the Mothers out there, those with and without children.
You are ALL in my thoughts and if you ever wonder if we think about how lucky we are to have happy, healthy children, or if you wonder if we ever take the time to reflect on how hard this day is for you, please know we do. Again, we are here in motherhood solidarity. If you need us, reach out.
I will take your hand to my heart and your sorrow on my shoulders and help carry you through this journey if you need me to.
To ALL mothers, I am here. I will continue to respect and honour all of you and all that motherhood has meant and continues to mean to you.
With gratitude and respect,