"Do you have any children?" That is probably the question I dread to hear the most.
It's considered small talk in our society but there's nothing small about it to me. I struggled for months over how to answer that question without provoking too much discussion or silencing a room, dampening a festive event. On one hand, I think I should say "no" and that would end the discussion and not make anyone uncomfortable. On the other hand, I think... Well yes, I'm still a mommy. Saying I'm not a mommy is not only dishonest, but it cheapens what I and my children went through just to be together. They deserve to be remembered and acknowledged, so now when people ask me if I have any children, I tell them, "None living", and give a smile.
I'm an open book really, so be careful what you ask because you will get an honest answer. I do love to talk about my children just like other moms do, but the stories will likely be very different. That's just life.
How do I define what being a mommy is? I'd say it's the person that loves you no matter what. It's someone who takes care of you when you are sick and teaches you what she knows. It's someone who holds you tight when you are scared or sad. It's the person that kisses a boo-boo better than anyone else. Above all else, it's a privilege not to be taken lightly and it takes more than just giving birth.
I'd like to send my heartfelt well wishes to all the moms out there... The moms with their kids still with them, who will likely get a hug and a kiss and if they're lucky, a breakfast in bed.
I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the other moms that don't get noticed.
The mom that carries a pregnancy for any length of time but does not give birth to a living child. You're still a mommy.
The mom that makes the hard decision to give her baby up for adoption. You're a mommy too.
The mom who takes care of all the wild fur-babies running around the neighborhod. You're a mom.
The school nurse who feeds, clothes and puts band-aids on all the skinned knees and elbows. You're a mommy to many.
The mom who's baby was born alive and died later. You'll always be a mommy. Don't forget it.
The mom who has babies or children of any age and no living children to show for it. Definitely a mommy.
The minister who consoles and cares for a member who has no one to turn to. You're a spiritual mommy.
The people who volunteer for the charities for kids that help fill those spots that moms normally do but for whatever reason are not. You're all mommies to those kids.
The ones who adopt or give foster care so the kids don't have to grow up with no parents. You're a mommy.
I don't have soccer pictures or prom pictures to show off. I didn't raise my child, seeing them off to college. I'll never get the scribbled cards or be able to hear "I love you mom", but please don't give me pity. I just want to be treated like I'm still a mommy.
Still A Mommy