Mother's Day. It started for me last night when SK texted such a sweet text it made me cry (thank you, Bug!). This morning, while I was still wet from my shower, Ladybyrd, our Chinese 'daughter' called. I know she called the other three women who have also helped 'raise' her, whom we call family because of LB's presence in our lives. Then E and Beve greeted me in the living room with more wishes and a cup of hot chocolate. J said, "Happy Mother's Day!" while we were driving across town to brunch with Grampie and Thyrza.
This afternoon the four of us (Beve, E, J and I) did our traditional Mother's Day planting of our patio pots. Armed with our Martha Washington geraniums, which always make me think of Beve's mom, petunias, and some trailing annuals of some kind or other, we gather the pots in myriad colors we've collected over the years, and go at it. Any which way. Well, within reason. I want the two identical ones on the steps by the front door to be similar, but other than that...ok, so I might be a little controlling about it. It's my gift, after all. And even J, who would rather bite off his tongue than do yard work most of the time steps right up without batting an eye or a single complaint. Hmmm, wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that he's now 23 years old.
Then E and Beve made dinner. Pollo con crema. Yum. Heart-cloggingly good. While they were fixing it, I was soaking in the tub with some bath salts E had given me. Ah the sweet luxuries of life.
And just a few minutes ago, I got a phone call from V. V, our African daughter-for-a-summer. She sounded good. V has moved away from Bellingham now. Back to Seattle, by way of Zaire. She spent about five months with her dad in Africa while her mom was moving last year. Word on the street was that she loved being in Africa, which might have disappointed her mother. Her mom was hoping she'd realize how good she has it here. But V sounded pretty positive tonight, like her head's on straighter than it used to be, like she has more direction and purpose. I could be wrong, V's been known to tell people what they want to hear. But I hope not. I hope she really is as good as she sounds. She said she thinks of us a lot, that she has a picture on her mirror of her taken in our living room and thinks of 'the family' all the time.
I got off the phone, and E said, "You heard from all your kids today, Mom." Though I didn't hear from BB. BB? Hello? Are you out there? He feels like my son too. Then there are those three kids from that one family. Two of them lived with us. They're kind of like our kids, too. There was some raising of them, some standing with them when they needed it, some teaching them, some listening to them. And all those youth group kids. The ones we took out for cokes, stayed up nights playing silly games or listening to them. Hard things they told us at times. Things I sometimes wanted to close my ears from. Things that made me want to take them home and fix their lives, when all I could really do was just be--simply be--with them. Somethings can't be fixed, and I learned that in loving a lot of kids who don't have my last name, and have never lived in my home. But I've loved them like a mother just the same.
So today, when a couple of them called, and the three who do share that last name know it (I assume), I'll take this moment to say the names of just a few of those kids from over 30 years of knowing and loving them (most of whom are now adults!): Carrie, Heather, David, Aimee, Shane, Drew, Megan, Sharon, Josh, Laurie, Mark, Colleen, Jennifer, Mandy. Anastasia. And so many, many more whose names God knows. Tonight I pray for them. I pray that those most damaged among them have found healing, and those with the ability to heal use their gifts to touch others. And I thank God for the privilege of nurturing them, loving them, yes, mothering them even a little bit along their road, along mine.