It was the second Sunday in May, I was almost 22, teaching preschool during the week and preparing to movie into a brand new house. I was also 4 and ½ months pregnant with our first child. My husband and I went to the nine o'clock service at our 200 year old Methodist church like we did every Sunday. After the service, as we sipped coffee, a gentleman walked up to me. He was a goofy, fun loving giant of a man who often teased the young people of our small congregation. But this time he spoke wistfully, confidentially. He leaned over to me and said,
“Happy Mother’s Day. I know the baby isn’t here yet but I don’t know why people wait to call you a mother. I think you are one now.”
It still makes me smile to think of this great hulking man who was more comfortable with a shotgun or a fishing pole than a little pregnant woman, taking the time to talk to me about Mother’s Day. But he said so much in those few words.
He affirmed me as a mother.
He gave me credit for all those days of nausea and not being able to eat anything.
All of my worry and prayers for this little one.
All of the tiny clothes I was washing and putting away.
All of the tiny kicks and punches.
All of the unknown fears of what would lie ahead.
All the silent secret things an expecting mother feels and thinks before other people ever acknowledge her as a mom.
He also made me remember, my solemn responsibility to this little unborn life to guard and protect him, to nurture and love him before I ever saw him. And I suddenly felt like a mom. All those little doubts at the edge of my mind were banished with the thought,
"I am a mother"
It was one of those small moments that you remember forever.
Thanks David, you probably never knew it, but you were the first person who ever wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. And I treasure your words even still.