My son’s birthday was yesterday, and at the end of the day I began to reflect on just what his birthday means to me. I know that Mother’s day is usually sometime in May, but my Mother’s Day is different. You see my Mother’s Day is June 30, the day that my son Jerome was born.
His birthday was yesterday, and he turned twenty-nine. My husband and I went to visit with him and to treat him to dinner. I always love getting a chance to see my only child. On the way home I thought about the joy that he brings me as a son. Twenty-nine years ago he was born. I remember when he looked at me for the first time. One of his eyes was a little red, and I remember thinking that he looked at me like he knew me. I mean, here was this new life that would for a while, depend on me for everything. In one moment we connected, mother to child with a love that would never go away. Some women may fear motherhood, but I embraced it. You see I realized that this was pure, unadulterated, unconditional, love. I knew that my goal was to love, protect, nourish, and to grow him up into a decent caring human being. I will not tell you that either of us is perfect, but we share that sacred mother and child bond.
I recall a time when he was about eight years old. He had gotten sick and thrown up a little on his pants. The school nurse called and said that my son needed a change of clothes. I didn’t drive at the time, however I was lucky enough to work downtown where I could go buy him a pair of pants and also catch the city bus to his school. I scrambled around, bought the pants, hopped on the bus and proceeded to go “rescue” my son. I had also brought him a little something to eat because I knew he’d be hungry. He was in the nurses’ office waiting for me. When I got there he looked up at me tearfully and asked “what took you so long?” I explained that dad was out of town on a day trip, and that I’d taken the bus. I got him changed and handed him some lunch. He looked up at me with those little boy eyes and said “Thanks mom,” just simply “Thanks mom,” and gave me a hug. My heart was filled with the warmth of my child’s love. That’s what it feels like to be truly appreciated. My son ate his lunch and then dashed off to class. I’ll never forget that moment. I pray that if I’m ever stricken with Alzheimer’s, that God will grant me at least the remembrance of that one thought. I want to always remember how it felt to be appreciated, loved, and needed by my child.
Over the years, my son has grown into a fine young man. And it still brings me joy when he’s happy. When he was a child sometimes I’d hear him whistling as he played in his room. It always made me smile, because I knew he was happy, content. He still whistles and I still smile when he does it because I know it means that he is content. The difference now however, is that I cannot “rescue” him as I did when he was a little boy. I can only pray that I’ve equipped him with the necessary tools to overcome life’s obstacles. Yet, I am satisfied that his love for me as his mother will never go away, and that one day he will get that same wonderful feeling of love when he has children of his own. Yes, June 30, every year, is Mother’s Day for me. It represents to me the joy of being a mother.