A truth about the human experience is that the needs that mothers strive to fill – our need for unqualified support, for people who can handle both our audacity and insecurity, for people who believe in the possibility of our triumph, despite the sometimes overwhelming odds against it – these needs are serviced by an army of individuals who may or may not be mothers. In our own work, we call them “the team.” The team plays a vital role in the decision to lead by seeing and celebrating an individual’s potential for impact.
Your own team may include your mother, but not everyone has or chooses that option. The good news is that the mothering you need may come from a range of other magnificent people.
I’m acutely aware of this phenomenon in my own son’s life. I like to think I am meeting some of his needs, but I know I can’t meet all of them, and that percentage will drop as he gets older. I’m pretty good at picking him up when he falls right now, but my instinct to stalk the first girl (or boy) that breaks his heart may be less helpful.
I’m increasingly grateful to the extended village that’s raising him with me. Only some of the villagers have any official claim on the word mother, but I’d still like to take this day to celebrate them. Today I want to thank my son’s team for loving him unconditionally and for believing fiercely in the man he will someday become. It makes me think that “Mothering Day” may be a better word for the holiday. Or to keep it simple, Happy Team Day.