Few things are as pervasive in the Animal Kingdom as motherhood. There are references to it everywhere. "Motherhood and apple pie." In James's Catholic church the Virgin Mary gets a pass on Original Sin because she bore and raised God's son. To be absolutely as obscene and insulting as you can be, you call somebody a mother fucker: yeah, nobody could be as vile as a defiler of the most revered people on earth. In my friend's church, they have all the mothers stand up to be recognized on Mothers' Day. In the infertility community, we know how excruciating motherhood references (except for the mother fucker thing) can be for people who're are trying and failing to be mothers.
Last year on Mothers' Day I was awakened by a wrong number. "Oh, well," the caller concluded, "Well, I hope you have a happy Mothers' Day." A shoe might as well have emerged from the receiver and kicked me in the stomach.
This year, Mothers' Day is different. I'm finally a mother. I woke up to two infants screaming with despair and fear that they would never ever ever be fed. When I put each of them on the changing table, they smiled at me. Then, as I was feeding them on either side of me, their warm little feet kicked at my ribs happily.
Needless to say, I feel a lot, lot better now. But Mothers' Day will never be the same for me as it is for most mothers. I know how devastating it is to a silent minority of women. And if we're only finding out now that "Motherhood and apple pie" can evoke tremendous feelings of hurt in so many people, what else don't we know?