This is the true meaning of Mother’s Day.
“You’re the most beautiful mom in the world!”
I woke up to those words and the beaming face of my daughter.
“Happy Mother’s Day,” she said as she dove into the bed to give me a delicious bear hug!
The most beautiful mom in the world? Wow! As my mom would say: my daughter “looks at me with good eyes.” I just turned 51 and although I am attractive, fit and take good care of my skin, I felt it would have been a more accurate compliment of my 25 year old self, especially when it’s six in the morning!
What is it that makes a mother beautiful to her children? Is it her face, her voice, her smell? Maybe so–and it’s surely much more than a physical characteristic.
Thinking back to my childhood, I realize what made my mother beautiful was more about feeling than vision. No matter what was happening, I knew I was the center of her universe. When I looked at my mother I saw the beauty of her unconditional love, her undivided attention, her fierce devotion. Perhaps it was because of this that her face glowed when she looked at me. Her love was like a tangible force field (a superhero power) that radiated through her eyes and constantly surrounded and protected me.
Could it be, what we as children see when we look at our mothers, is a reflection somehow of the love our mother feels for us?
My mother has been gone for 36 years, having lost her battle with breast cancer when I was a teenager. I have been without her longer than I was with her. After so many years, it isn’t the physical attributes that I remember; to be perfectly honest I can’t remember her voice or her laugh. Her physical body left, but her force field of love never did, I felt this once the pain of loss began to dissipate. I still feel the beauty of her love surrounding me to this day.
This Mother’s Day, in honor of my mother and in celebration of the amazing child I have been blessed to share my life with, I will unapologetically accept the gift of my daughter’s compliment and return it with my attention. I will put the phone down, return the email tomorrow, and right now, I will look deeply into her eyes (with my superhero mom powers) so she knows she is the center of my universe. I believe it’s the experience of truly, deeply loving a child unconditionally that makes a mother beautiful.
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Images: (top) a4gpa, (bottom) Fatima Olive