This is me with my mother, 46 years ago or so. This photo is on the altar in my home office. I treasure it, and I treasure her.

You may be reading this on Mother’s Day weekend, but I’m not going to say, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

I find Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to be complicated holidays. And what I’ve learned from my dad, who works around homeless people all day long, is that many holidays are complicated. They often bring up how far our ideal is from reality. He has observed how the mood among his homeless friends definitely darkens during times that are supposed to be celebratory.

Maybe your mother isn’t someone that’s easy for you to celebrate, or she has died and you miss her terribly. Maybe you or your partner longed to be a parent and it didn’t happen, or you’re trying to become a parent it’s a much longer road than you wanted it to be. Maybe you are gratefully mothering children, but you are often bored, lonely, or irritated. Or your beautiful child is struggling with depression, anxiety, or illness or your child or children have died. Or, like me, you’re entering into the empty nest phase and surprised by how much grief is involved.

I’ve learned over the years to celebrate instead the mothering each of us can do for one another. There are so many kinds of love, so many ways to be in relationship and look out for each other. I think often of the famous Maya Angelou quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  Whatever your mothering or not-mothering story, I hope you feel cared for today, and I hope there are some people in your orbit who need your care. That’s what it’s all about.