To All the Moms

Jenna Bush Hager’s Mother’s Day letter honoring the women in her family could speak for many, including myself.

Writing to her own two daughters, Mila and Poppy, Jenna tells them:

“My sweet daughters, this is a letter about motherhood, a word that you don’t yet truly understand. Sure, you say the word “Mama” countless times a day—it is a word I will never tire of hearing. But motherhood—and the unconditional love and longing (and the anxiety and guilt) that come along with it—is something you won’t know about for many years.”

As she shares with her daughters the comparisons between her mother, former First Lady Laura Bush, and herself, Jenna also remembers other strong women in the family that Mila and Poppy will draw from as they grow, and the legacy of the past:

“You girls come from a long line of women who wanted to become mothers,” Jenna recounted. “The West Texas women on your Grammee’s side were strong, but going all the way back to my great-grandmother, the thing they wanted the most was also the most difficult. …

“My great-grandmother, a woman who could make her own mortar and lay her own brick, buried at least two babies in the desert of El Paso, both born too soon,” wrote Jenna, who was named for her maternal grandmother. “And my grandma Jenna laid three babies to rest in Midland, Texas.”

To all who wear the mantle of mom, thank you for being patient, kind, loving, instructive, adventuresome, for quietly enduring the unknown sacrifices throughout the years, and for being there.