As Mother’s Day approached this year, I found myself, no surprise, thinking about picture books. It’s common for adults, and parents especially, to be non-existent in picture book worlds. The audience is children of course. But, as I perused my shelves I slowly realized that moms aren’t actually missing from a lot of picture books. There are a lot of moms there, most of them doing exactly what they do in real life and going completely unnoticed in the story. For this moment on Mother’s Day, I wanted to give a sort of ode to all the mothers, and mother-figures, out there who are doing their work and keeping life, and stories humming along.
To the moms who grew and carried a baby.
To the moms who didn’t, but carry them now.
To the moms who always wanted to be a mom.
And to the ones who didn’t.
To the moms who always keep an eye on their tasks and their little mischief-makers.
To the moms who make delicious treats and have a ready smile and wave.
To the moms who keep a handle on their families’ diet kindly and firmly.
To the moms who always immediately know what’s wrong.
To the moms who help give words to uncomfortable feelings and situations.
To the moms who are willing to listen to their children and change their decision.
To the moms who are resourceful and considerate of sentimental favorites.
To the mamas who know how to celebrate the joy of rain.
To the moms who readily go on adventures too and never tire of mundane distractions like counting everything on route.
To the moms who take the lead on family adventures.
To the moms who keep their cool and know ice cream is the best distraction.
To the moms who quietly clean up the children and listen to their adventures.
To the moms who throw the best parties even though they end up exhausted.
To the moms who end up cleaning up the messes, even when they are made by tigers.
To the moms who prepared their children for big things when they have to rest.
To the moms who embrace the craziest things, even pets.
To the moms who encourage their kids’ imaginations despite their interesting choice of materials.
To the moms who love their little dancers even with questionable moves.
To the moms who know their kids and teach them to be themselves despite culture.
To the moms who love their kids that are nothing like them.
To the moms who still provide the hot dinner, even after a rough day.
To the moms who gently remind their little ones how days and nights work.
To the moms who share the best stories, from their own lives or the lives of others.
Here’s to all the moms who read three books a night (more or less). May you know how special and not invisible you are in our lives and every story we tell.