Ian and I used to visit a neighbor who went to jail for armed robbery. We sat across the thick glass from him and updated him on life in the neighborhood, learned how to make cakes from commissary food, caught up on the plot of The Walking Dead, and looked at his latest drawings and tattoos.
I remember the pride he took in sketches of his mom. His face brightened and warmth came into his voice when he talked about her. I thought about that this week, with Mother’s Day approaching. For all the troubles of his life, thoughts about his mom preserved a bright and gentle space in his heart.
I have walked with neighbors who have lost mothers, who became mothers early in life, whose mothers were abusive or neglectful, who do their best to mother with the resources and relationship they have. With so many complicated relationships pulling on it, it’s hard to say anything general about motherhood.
That’s where hope comes in to help us forward. This Mother’s Day, whether we’re celebrating mothers in our life, grieving them, navigating complicated relationships with them, or working on our own mothering, hope is our best way forward.
Hope says that things can be better, and motivates us to make them so. Whether that means expressing our love and appreciation, strengthening our own boundaries, or taking a few more steps on our own journeys, hope makes for a good Mother’s Day.
¡Feliz Día de la Madre!