When I was 16 weeks pregnant and found out we’ll be having a baby girl, I started imagining what she would look like. The color of her hair, her eyes, the sound of her laughter and what she would be like, in general. I found myself thinking ahead to all those beautiful milestones; her first words, her first steps and her first Mother’s Day card to me.

Before I knew it, she started going to nursery and developed a real interest in all things artsy. I was finally going to get that special Mother’s Day handmade card, and not the usual hallmark card bought by my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I love those cards but I wanted something colorful and messy, something that would forever remind me of my 3 year-old Chloe.

One day as I was dropping her off at nursery along with many other parents, there was a new girl joining their class, a beautiful little girl with a sad face. So I asked the class teacher about her, only to find out that her mother had passed away a few months earlier. I couldn’t stop the tears as I watched her dad walk away. I wanted to approach him, to talk to him, but I had absolutely nothing to say.

I couldn’t stop thinking of that dad. He was now both the father and the mother to that little girl and her older siblings, and he deserved to be celebrated more than anyone, along with every family member/nanny taking care of those kids. With that thought in mind, I remembered something my mom wrote 8 years ago. I read it as a daughter then, and got emotional. Today, I went back to read it as a mother, and the different woman in me became even more emotional.

Whether you’ve lost your Mom, lost your child, or were not blessed with children, worry not and more importantly, hurt not, miss not and most of all, regret not. For surely you have been mothered at one point, be it for a short or long while, by our Moms, so we all know what Motherhood is all about. You all have mothered someone, be it your child, or anyone you care about.”*

There was talk in the nursery of skipping Mother’s Day celebrations altogether out of respect for the little girl’s feelings, but a few days ago I was deeply moved to find out that that dad wanted the celebrations at the nursery to go on as planned. He explained that his little girl would join by honoring her mother in heaven…

I couldn’t help admiring how he handled this difficult situation, and the lesson he was teaching his children, all of us actually. He led by example, and bravery that not many can claim to have. Sometimes we simply need to face what we fear most, and the earlier we do it the better.

I just thought I’d share that thought and pay it forward. Let us all celebrate the act of “Motherhood”, to mother someone, care for, or protect like a Mother.

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful inspiring Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day to all the super Moms in the world,

And most of all, Happy Mother’s Day to everyone caring for and protecting a child like their own.

*This paragraph is part of a blog post my mother Noran Shafey wrote a few years ago before publishing her first novel.

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