It’s only fitting that the robin comes flying by the side of the car as I drive slowly after dropping off little boy for Forest School. It is March 8, and growing up meant Mother’s Day. No bells and whistles, no marketing campaigns or Hallmark cards, just carefully hand drawn cards, mostly with snowdrops because I loved to draw them and they matched the small bouquet in my hand.
The connection between the robin and my Mom was made shortly after her sudden passing almost ten years ago and it will never change. You could say I have a comfort bird. Well, I needed one.
So, the robin. I stop the car and step outside. I sit by the side of the dirt road close to the tree where the robin is. I listen a while, catch a burst of song that gets mixed in with the symphony pouring down from all the trees and realize that it’s the swiftness of it before it mixes with the others that makes it more precious and it’s all the sounds engulfing it that make it complete.
It’s March 8 and sunny.
Some years ago someone abruptly asked why I am attached to a relic of the communist regime. Ah, nothing like the political smears spreading over a day that politics should stay out of. The answer is in the renewal celebration surrounding me.
Where I sit by the side of the road there’s fresh bold new blades of grass, so green they look surreal, each carrying gifts of morning dew. That’s what the day is about to me. Life.
Earlier in the car little boy made my heart dance and my eyes tear up. ‘Mom, you know mushrooms look fragile but they are not. They can break through concrete if they have to. Plants too…’ It is so, isn’t it?
You’re only as fragile as you believe yourself to be. If you let your instincts guide you, then you can break through barriers that you never thought you could break through.
And it’s not about whether you are fragile or not. We all are in some ways. Yet trading it completely for what’s perceived as strength alone is not an option either. True strength is tender-hearted and comes from packing both strength and fragility for the road ahead. That’s how you grow to see the human, not the deeds, celebrate their presence in your life and learn about courage.
That’s how you learn about worthiness. When you can see past the obvious, past of what is easy to see. You learn to appreciate those moments of solitude when you look in the mirror asking ‘where to from here?’ only to realize that by asking the question you have stood your ground and you did not hide the fragile bits. Yes, it takes courage to ask. And it takes courage to follow the road that comes without directions except for one: Trust yourself.
That’s why I celebrate motherhood today.
Today is when I think of the journey so far. The sea of memories lapping at the window of my motherhood hut, where inadequacies and victories lay together, amassed during a time that happens too fast.
Today I sit here by the side of the road and allow no hurry. I think of the boys, their boisterous presence at times and then again, their revealing of softer sides so often when they whisper their own inadequacies, their discoveries of things that tug at their hearts, the questions that often come with tears. Together we learn to see that we’re the same, bound by love. Sometimes, stepping on each other’s toes reveals that no dance is perfect and pain spares no one. clenching your teeth in resentment is the wrong path. Smile through tears. Be grateful.
It creates mindfulness.
Motherhood invites to that. I said yes a long time ago when my boys were born, and then more so after my Mom left. Waking up with less became determination to see more.
That’s why celebrating the day quietly by the side of the road makes all the sense. It’s not about giving the day a name because it’s not the day itself but the people who make it worthwhile. Hence the futility of pulling the politics curtain over it and burying it in righteousness.
Today is not about politics but about finding the space and time to see. Today is about saying ‘Thank you’ to my Mom, remembering what vulnerability and strength look like, put them back in my satchel as I carry on with the journey and telling my boys:
‘Yes, I’m showing up every day for the most difficult job in the world.
Yes, there is always room for better but that’s why tomorrow was invented and that’s why we have hugs.
Yes, I go to the bottom many times and each time I push myself to the surface again, I take another deep breath and say ‘again!’ as if I am having the ride of my life. Because I am, and every moment of it is worthy it.
Because you are.’