"Are you a mother?"
It took me by complete surprise the first time I was asked, complete surprise the second time I was asked, and complete surprise the third time I was asked.
I'm usually pretty good about feeling people out and gauging what they're going to say next, it helps me figure out what I should say - and more to the point, what I shouldn't say. But for some reason, every single time today, this blindsided me.
I answered "No" every single time. Truthfully so. I am not a mother. And despite my determination to be a foster mom, I don't really have any specific urges to be 'mom'. Some people, just look like a mom, and you know they'll be great at it. I've got one person in mind specifically as I write that too. But I've just never felt like the whole "Let's sing 1-10 in a sweet sing-songy voice, and then paint pictures with our water colors!" My desires in foster parenting were simply to shelter kids. To show them how happy, and unfearful normal life should be, and to let them know that there are people in life that will love you - period - no matter how good or bad you are.
Every single time today though, as I was asked that question "Are you a mother?" it was one of those moments where pictures flood my mind, and with Little Ones image, blond haired, dirty faced, and smiling with those eyes that always seemed to say something of their own, I answered "No". Even as the truth, it felt almost like a lie. And worse yet, in a way it felt as though I were denying her. Instead of leaving the conversation with the simple "No", I wanted to grab their arms and force them to stop and listen to the story of this amazing little girl who taught me so much.
I don't know if mothers out there feel this way, but for me, this year, mothers day took on a brand new meaning. As I answered the question, my thoughts weren't directed to a wish that I could wear the "mother" cloak. But of the deepest desire to point to my former little ones. I always thought for mom's it was about "Whew, a day when someone appreciates all I do for them." and maybe it is. Now I wonder if more of them aren't just enjoying a day to think how blessed they are, and how changed they are, because of their child.
Or maybe they're just hoping for some nice gifts.
What do I know?