Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day.

I just got off the phone with my son who is in Malaysia, professing his faith to people who want to, or are willing to, listen. All day long I've had conversations of one kind or another with my children, and I hope no one will be too appalled if what I have to say today is this:

I am glad that I am a mother. I am grateful to every single one of my children for the chance I have had to be his or her mother. Each of these children is an incalculable blessing in my life.

Becoming a mother, both initially and over time, has been the single most transformative experience of my life. For me, it was the chance to see the world in a different way--to understand that what I felt for my children in some version or another was what other people felt for their children, and that therefore I had an obligation not to live in the world in such a way that I made the world harder for everyone else.

I know that it's not possible to mitigate everything--the privilege I assume just by being American, white, middle-class. I know that the burden of a single American child on the earth is exponentially larger than a child born almost anywhere else.

Even so, I am grateful for the kind hearts, the enormous talents, the impulse to do good, the thoughtfulness, the intelligence, the wit and the music of all of my children. Today, and every day, I am very glad I am a mother. Thank you, all my children, for letting me practice motherhood with you.

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