As it appeared in the Beaumont Enterprise, Sunday, May 8, 2011
Child’s Love is the Best Gift on Mother’s Day
I raised a girl and two boys as a single mother. We had good days, not so good days and some terrible, no good, very bad days. My daughter, Treva, the only girl and the oldest of the three, expected to become a mother. Life, however, isn’t obligated to give us what we expect and though her desire was met, it wasn’t in the way she thought it would be.
After Treva married, years passed, and there was no baby. She learned after infertility treatments and finally surgery that she would not be able to get pregnant. A few months later she went on a mission trip with a group to Russia. While there she found her baby daughter in an orphanage in Vladimir. Back in the United States five long months later the new family arrived at the airport holding tightly, Kaylin Elizabeth, the seven month old bundle of joy. Embracing this child and watching her grow has been one of life’s most amazing blessings, a gift enjoyed by mothers everywhere.
Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages. Moms may have one child or several. Moms may be Mother to children they did not give birth to or to children that were not with them at birth but came later to the family. Moms may be mothering children that came when she was still a teenager. Millions of moms are mothering alone. Single mothers share the same gift of Mother’s Day that other moms do.
Single moms, you may not receive a present this Mother’s Day. You may not be treated to a restaurant meal. You may not receive a card from your children. Your children may not know to say “Happy Mother’s Day.” You are not alone. There are well over 10 million single moms in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America, one out of three, live in homes where the biological father is absent. Though your children may not know their father, they know you. They know your love, your day-in day-out presence and your way of holding their home together. They know your heart and they love you with a love that is acknowledged the world over-the love of a child for his mother. Holidays like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, even Christmas are short on fun when you are a single mom. But moms hold a gift, Hallmark cannot match.
Moms would easily forego the packages for the special place they hold in the hearts of their children. While celebrating Mothers is a noble thing to do, mothers already hold the treasure— the child is truly the gift. When the day is done it’s the hug and the touch of pure love between mothers and her babies that makes each day a holiday all its own.
So much more than a card, a bouquet, or a box of chocolates is the hug from a child, the “I love you, Ma,” from a grown son, the breath of a baby against her cheek.
Holding our Russian princess in the airport that night we knew the child is the greatest gift of all.