The joy of motherhood is without question, the perils well-known, and the humor unending fodder. But what of her duties, her tasks? A mother finds herself with many tasks every day - long lists of tasks that stack and stress and wreak havoc on a calendar. But really, she has only one task: to come back.
A mother must come back to her child after his pout and his tantrum, after she has scolded him and doled out consequence.
A mother must come back to her child after the child's timid - sometimes bolder - venture across the line of permission.
A mother must come back to the table after the child has assured her he has wiped it clean, to remove the errant crumb.
She must walk away from the child who threatens with pudgy fingers not to obey, and come back to the child whose teen rant is a mask for pain.
A mother must turn, many times, from words delivered to her in distaste, dishonor and disrespect and come back with understanding, warmth and acceptance.
A mother must weather the friendships of some, the betrayal of others, the injury of many who will harm her child, and so her, to her core. She must come back strong, willing and open.
Her back will grow weary. Her hands ache with their tire. Her hair grays with the days spent worrying, praying. Her peace is only in her child's comfort, no matter how she strives to be her own self. The mother is only to herself what she sees reflected in her child.
And so she comes back. That is her task. It is a mighty one indeed.
With thanks to my mom for always coming back with love, and appreciation for all the moms in my life and my children's lives, who share some of these gifts with me and my family... Happy Mother's Day.