i smile…

mama

“i smile at myself in the mirror every morning.”

that’s what she told me. the first time i heard her say that, i did it too. i saw what others can see when something is funny or when i am trying to be nice. i remember wondering if she was trying to simply look pretty. was she smiling at herself?

as i move into mothering someone teetering on the hill of adolescence, i wonder if it was a smile of submission…of giving in to another day. was it a smile of release…of realizing that she has been awakened again, therefore, there is work to do? it was no doubt a smile that knew love. love of herself, of those around her, of her maker.

i was changed that day i heard about those first-thing-in-the-morning smiles in the mirror. i remain changed knowing she smiles still…for herself, for her husband, for her children, for her grandchildren, for her friends, for the children she loves but can not save, for the families she claims but can not fix, for the strangers she builds community with in mere seconds, for another day, for the work that remains, for the mystery of god that keeps this beautiful and troubled world going.

dear mama, happy mother’s day once again (written with a smile).

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