I grew up in a small cabin built by none other than my parents themselves. They had help here and there, but Dad drew up the blueprint, we moved hundreds of miles away, and they got to work. The home has yet to match the blueprint, but that's no surprise considering that a work of art is never fully finished—just as our lives will never fully finish.

 

I can remember using kerosene lamps for light, washing and drying clothes outside, hand-pumping water, carrying loads of firewood in from the snow, and chinking between each hand-raised log.

 

Change was slow and beautiful and paced. And then, one day, it wasn't.

 

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About Shelby Hughes

2017 Shelby L. Hughes | Greensburg, PA | shelbyhugheswriter@gmail.com

Here's to you, Mom.

Here's to you, Mom, as you lay on your side and feel those intense kicks that do a number on you when standing, making you nauseous and nervous.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you your first contractions tighten in the wee hours of the night, and you wonder what the pain will feel like just before giving birth. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you hear those first cries and lay there exhausted with a piece of your heart swaddled on the outside of your body.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you spend sleepless nights and quiet days at home, as you check every few minutes to make sure your new baby is still breathing. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as that baby turns into a toddler, and you find yourself expecting an other little one to love and hold and feed and clean and kiss and console. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you attempt to smile for the camera with three small children draining you of every ounce of energy.

Here's to you, Mom, as you hide in the kitchen drinking coffee, tears streaking your face, wondering how you're supposed to teach respect and obedience when they are being so defiant and against everything you say. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you wonder if you're doing anything right in parenting.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you pick up that complex puzzle and figure out how to put it together with each, individual child. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you answer every "why" question from your four year old and later answer every difficult question from your teen as they try to figure out how to navigate life and its cutting ways. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you hold your crying daughter because nothing about womanhood is easy.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you watch your son grow taller than you and realize he's becoming a man.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you raise your children to take on professions and spouses and families of their own.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you juggle the many hats of motherhood: caregiver, chef, coordinator, and chauffeur to name a few.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you grow to understand that there are not enough hats to quantify your role as a mother, and that your identity as a mother is so much more than a few job titles. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you prepare your heart for all of the firsts: first steps, first day of school, first chapter book, first field trip, first lost tooth, first sport, first ceremony, first job, and first ex.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you earn the title "Grandma," "Me-maw," "Nan-nan," or otherwise. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you help your own children raise their own children, knowing that you have finally gained "cool" status in your grandchild's eyes.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you hold your Mother's hand and she takes her last breath and passes on the torch of grandmother and mother to you.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you grieve your own Mom's passing on a day meant for celebrating. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you cry on Mother's Day because you no longer have your greatest support since childhood around, and you feel a little lost and alone, a piece of you missing.

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you reflect on your days in the thick of raising your children, and you realize how those moments were building your character right alongside your child's. 

 

Here's to you, Mom, as you look forward to the joy that lies ahead, knowing that all is well with your soul. 

 

Here's to you, Mom.

 

You're doing a great job!

 

Happy Mother's Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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