This morning my daughter went to play in the rain and she slipped and fell. I heard it. My stomach dropped with a sickening heaviness and my body sprung into action as I rounded the corner to set eyes on her, then ran barefoot in my nightgown out to scoop her up. She cried hard, we were covered in mud. I walked the house, holding her tight and cooing in her ear, all the while remembering a story my mother told me about watching my brother fall and hit his head as a toddler. She said in that moment, her first thought was “I don’t know if I can survive loving someone this much”. I felt those words deep, deep in the cavern of my stomach as I walked and walked and walked. Gratefully, my girl recovered after a good cry and returned to her usual funny self. She recovered much more quickly than I did, as a matter of fact. And so I’m left today thinking about mothers - mothers and courage.
Motherhood takes an infinite amount of courage. And even as I write this piece I know for certain I will not do the courage exhibited by mothers around the world full justice.
To really do it, to really get in there and love your children with your whole heart, to step out of the center of your universe so you can share space with them, to let them change you. To protect them and fight for them. To launch them into the world.
To change your focus, change your family, change your purpose, to change your whole life. It all takes courage.
We know the doubt. The anxiety. The midnight wondering and the 5am exhaustion. And I see mothers showing up everyday anyway. Laughing, hugging, holding, guiding, encouraging, soothing...all the things that make children feel the safety and specialness of this life.
Oh mothers, your courage (and mine) is staggering.
It is true of course that some days we fair better than others. Some days I am not all that brave. I’m fearful and reactive. Or it’s a day I just need to rest and not have so much dang courage. I’m learning to be ok with all the days.
Because our less than courageous days don’t negate all of the moments in which fear raised its head and we chose courage instead.
Last month I wrote about grief. This month I write about courage, because you know what? It’s all the same. It’s all love in action. Loving takes courage and grieving means there is courage AND love.
So just know, mommas, when I look at you I see a warrior, an Amazon, an everyday average woman who with her everyday average love shows more courage than I ever thought possible, and I am in awe.