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Mothers and Mentors

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Today, we celebrate mothers.

We celebrate the ones who have mothered us and the ones who made us mothers. Some of us remember mothers who are no longer with us. Some of us celebrate the non-biological mothers who stepped in when most needed. Some of us (like me), not only think of the children we are able to hold today, but also the ones who were born into heaven and to whom we are still mothers nonetheless.

The spirit of motherhood is beautiful, bittersweet, nostalgic, often challenging, and nothing short of miraculous.

I've often thought that "mother" as a noun isn't as important as "mother" as a verb.

To mother is way, way harder than becoming a mother.

And I think that learning how to mother starts much earlier than the moment a woman becomes a mother. It starts with every mentor she has ever had, from the moment she was a small child. Each serves as a small piece of a great puzzle, shaping the kind of mentor she herself will someday become.

Educational influencers like her kindergarten teacher.
Her afterschool art teacher.
Her camp counselor.
Her high school English teacher.
Her college advisor.

Aspirational influencers like the authors, actresses and musicians she loves.
The leaders of her city, state, and country.
The leaders of her faith community.

Familial influencers like her aunts.
Her older sisters.
Her grandmothers.
And, of course, her own mother.

We are all connected through a web of mentorship and mothering, affecting the lives of those that we may not even know we've been influencing. The mothers of today are a culmination of the mentors that came before them; and we have the ability to mentor the generation that will come after, both those close to us and those who may simply be watching us from afar.

So today, we raise a toast to all women out there who are (and have been, and will be) mothers, mentors, and especially both.

Today, we celebrate verb mothers.

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