For millions this Sunday, there will be no special brunches or spa days, no visits to church or extended family.
We will all largely stay, of course, at home this Mother's Day — grateful for essential workers who save lives, deliver packages, check out our groceries, and clean our hospitals and streets on this and every day.
But there's another kind of essential worker: Mom.
Right now, in addition to everything else she used to be, or continues to be, in her working life (and many take risks to provide essential services in the outside world), she's also teacher, cook, housekeeper, referee, arts and crafts guru and handwashing czar. On top of all that, she's still “Mom” — the one who hugs you, the one to cry to, the one who scratches your back and worries about you.
I'm a 49-year-old mother of a 6-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. I'd always been certain my kids kept me young. (Although these days I look so haggard, I doubt I even visually qualify as their young grandma.) But that was in the Before Times. Now my children provide me with something more valuable: They provide me with unwavering purpose. I wake with a quick silent prayer to stave off entropy, to preserve the mental health of my family, to invite grace and be patient. (I'm reliably graceless, but I try to make up for it by singing lots of show tunes and tossing squealing small people onto the closest bed whenever possible. Patience is a muscle I swear I can actually feel growing, so it's a good thing that I'm living in stretchy athleisure wear.)