This year, meditating about Mother’s Day, I found myself especially focused on the pregnant women I am lucky enough to know — about-to-be mothers and brand new mothers. And that, of course, means I’m also thinking about new grandmothers, new aunts, new special people in new lives — all of us lucky enough to be part of bringing up those babies.
And what an unusual — to say the least — year in which to welcome new life. Thinking back to my own pregnancy, I confess that I had a great deal of anxiety, starting with a great deal of anticipation of the pain I would go through to deliver that baby. Would it be healthy? Would it thrive? Would I be able to become a mother? A good mother? All of it…
This year, we are bringing infants into the world in the midst of a pandemic, one whose duration is unknowable right now. So: we have a very real fear of exposure and contagion. The COVID-19 pandemic has had terrible consequences, of course, not only for health but also our economy.
For many, financial stability has evaporated, or is hovering on the edge; new mothers don’t know if they will have jobs to return to, or whether they will be able to afford child care. So: anxiety, insecurity, a sense of vulnerability.
I’m also lucky enough to be working with women who have children of all ages — starting with tiny babies up to adult daughters who are pregnant with children of their own.
Each one of us thinks about our children every single day.
Every day, we think about how to make their worlds — our world — safer.
Every day, we feel that fierce love that compels us to do whatever it takes, whatever is humanly possible, to stand up to anyone and everyone threatening our children’s wellbeing. Whether that’s the purity of the air they breathe, or the stability of the climate system in which we all live, or the toxicity of the chemicals in the products we buy … all those things we worry about, we fight against.
That’s why we started Moms Clean Air Force. We channel our fighting spirits (and our anxieties) into being warriors on behalf of all children.
So to all the newest mothers among us, from all the newest grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and friends — we thank you for the gift you give us all, the gift of new life. A gift that renews our determination to be worthy of the trust that we can make this a world worth joining.