A Mother's Day Thank You to My Mothers in Arms

For suggesting that I keep a Stain Stick near the changing table and a Swiffer in the dining room.

For hand-me-down clothes. More to the point, for having the wherewithal to gather up your hand-me-down clothes and drop them off at my house, all while managing your own busy lives.

For holding my babies, even when they cried.

For telling me it would get better. You were right.

For whiling away the hours with me so our kids could play together.

For giving me the names of your favorite pediatrician, lactation consultant, pediatric ophthalmologist, kids’ swimming teacher, the list goes on.

For pointing out where the drive-thru coffee is.

For confiding that you yell at your kids sometimes, too.

For admitting that your child gets anxious or defiant or sad. For the way your honesty about your worries makes me feel OK about my own.

A special shout-out, high school friends, for accompanying me into the public restroom in the Copley Marriott on our shopping spree six years ago. For securing a digital pregnancy test and a paper cup, for standing in the handicapped stall with me as the word “pregnant” popped into view in that tiny window, and for high-fiving, whooping, and hugging me as if the baby inside me were your own.

For that Hefty bag of recycled maternity clothes that made its way to my house for each of my three pregnancies.

For telling me that I glowed when I didn’t.

For telling me that I’d lost the baby weight when I hadn’t.

For telling me that my kids were great when they weren’t.

For coming to the birthday parties when you didn’t necessarily want to.

For dropping off the lasagna, for visiting us at the hospital, for inviting our unruly crew into your home and not seeming to mind when we made a mess.

For helping me navigate the beauty and heartbreak of these fleeting, magic years. I’d be lost without you.

Happy Mother’s Day.