There are times when it seems I’m taking my family for a walk on the edge of a cliff, and I wonder if we might all be about to fall and fall and fall at my misstep, plunging into crashing ocean or onto crushing rock.

Nice thoughts on the Tuesday before Mother’s Day, eh?

I wonder at moms packing babies into covered wagons, pots dangling from pegs and uncertainty ahead, and I think they must have hardly been able to stand it some times. I wonder what was stronger in them, adventure or duty? Following men and making homes out of next to nothing and some of them thriving and some of them going plumb crazy, I imagine.

I wonder at moms raising children in war, and how do you do that? Or moms with sick or starving or buried kids, or moms with stolen kids. Stolen kids, three hundred missing Nigerian girls, and I know I have no clue.

There are moms – today, this very minute – all over the place, all over this round world, raising babies up and away, and some of them thriving and some of them, yes, going crazy. (It takes a lot of comma pauses to make a thought so big.) In a few days, some will open a card or eat toast offered on a plate in a bed or go for lunch. Some will get phone calls and some will get flowers and some will get hugs. Some won’t, and this is the dilemma of celebrating days, because some can’t celebrate and the special of the day makes it hard.

My boys will do something if their dad remembers to remind them. If he remembers he’ll pick up some flowers or some chocolate or if the weather is nice we might go for a country drive and I’ll be sweetly reminded of when they were little and they brought me dandelion bouquets or sometimes just grass. So pretty, mommy.

I’ll wonder at the time passing and whether I did it good enough and I’ll know I mostly did and sometimes didn’t. I’ll wonder at the way I’m doing it now, with extra souls in our home and how these days, these needy ones are pushing us a bit, out to the edge of the cliff and I’m praying the cliff-walking is making us all stronger and more capable and ready for whatever might be up ahead, whatever the twists and turns.

I’m praying this walk I’m taking my family on, these life choices and this way of living, all of it, is growing up kids who will thrive, and not just driving them crazy.