The day has finally arrived. Another graduation. It's hard to believe that in a few short hours I will be saying "goodbye" to some fine young people, possibly for the last time. As much as I might like to think otherwise, I realize that I will probably never see some of them again.
It's a strange, bittersweet feeling. Strange, because these are not actually my children and yet I feel almost as if they were. For anyone who is an older single person in the field of education, you will probably understand this feeling.
Yesterday I was in a local store looking at greeting cards and was confronted with the "Mother's Day" selection. I realized, with some sense of regret, that I will probably never receive a Mother's Day card nor hear someone call me Mom. Of course, God may change that and allow me to be a mother some day, but I'm choosing not to dwell or count on it.
One of the greatest things about being an educator in an academic setting is that I have many wonderful opportunities to impact the lives of other people's children. I have come to care tremendously for the students that the Lord brings into my world and I'm thankful that I have the chance to teach them and help mold and prepare them for the larger world. I get to teach them how to do research for their projects and papers, rejoice with them when they do well and exhort them to greater effort and higher goals. I get to listen to their struggles and lend them a sympathetic ear and to cheer for them when they excel.
Not long ago, I was startled when one young international lady said to me, "You remind me of my mom." At first I was a bit put off, because I was feeling "old", then I realized what a compliment that was! Motherhood is, in many ways, a state of mind; one that involves encouragment, exhortation, sacrifice, love, commitment and imparting strong moral and biblical values. It is also a choice
Yes, I may not ever have biological children of my own. When I look around me, though, and see all the wonderful young people who are in my life, in my library and often in my house, I realize that I have been given the blessing of being, in many ways, a surrogate "mother" to many children. I am among women truly blessed.