What is a MOM?

When I was a little girl my mom had a beautiful little picture hanging up that said, “Anyone can be a mother, but it takes someone special to be a mommy.”

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I always think of that picture, especially this time of year. May is a busy month in our family. We have my little girl’s birthday, my grandma’s birthday, my birthday, and Mother’s Day.

I use to feel a little left out and out of place on Mother’s Day, because I am not a mother. I didn’t give birth to a child, and I didn’t adopt a child, so how could I be a mother? The little girl I always talk about and that my life revolves around is my beautiful little cousin AJ. After some bad things happened in her life and she spent a little time in foster care, I was blessed to pick her up from the airport on Christmas Eve back in 2004 when she was 18 months old. I have raised her ever since, but her “real mom” is still in the picture, and she still calls her mom. If she still has a mom, what does that make me?

I am the one who taught her numbers, shapes, and colors. I taught her to read. Am I just a teacher? I stayed up all night and learned how to use a breathing machine for her asthma. I cleaned out her cuts and bruises and kissed her booboos. Am I just a nurse? I have given up time with friends and stayed up all night when she had nightmares, giving up “me time” to play dress up and dolls. Am I just a babysitter? I have been there when she is happy and laughing and when she is upset and crying, seen her through the terrible twos and the horrible threes. I have had the pleasure of the snuggling and the hugs, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Yet, I still didn’t know where I fit in. Each year as May came around, I would help her make a card for her real mom. When strangers would wish me a happy Mother’s Day, I would politely state that I wasn’t a mother. She was always my little girl, and I was always just her “Kate” .

Then it hit me one day, no I wasn’t her real mother…… her biological mother, but I was just as important. I still help her make a card for her mother on Mother’s Day, but now when someone wishes me a happy Mother’s Day, I say thank you. Deep down inside I know that I am a mom, maybe just not in the typical sense. I try to always remember that it t does take someone special to be a mommy and I am that special person.

To all those women out there who give up their life to take care of a child, whether you are technically a mother or not, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! Embrace your day

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