When the scent of lilac fills the air and butterflies flutter through blossom-filled bushes, you know that summer is near! Every season comes with a mix of variables that affect the ones that come afterward. I’m not sure what created the perfect storm for blossoms this spring, but in a word, they’ve been fantastic. The grounds have been strewn with petals, thick as snow in some places, and if you pause long enough, the buzzing of bees is like a symphony. A little purple prose for the morning, but what the heck—nature is deserving of the extravagance.

For the mothers…

The traditional definition of a mother lacks fluidity. It bestows a female parent with nurturing qualities whether they exist or don’t. It makes assumptions about parenting based on that definition that may or may not be true. Unfortunately, court systems are notorious for making these kinds of assumptions. I hope to see that change in my lifetime.

I know mothers of all kinds. Great ones, horrific ones, kind ones, damaging ones. I’m one of the lucky ones to have, not only a birth mother who is an amazing, loving, dynamic woman, but other women in my life who have played important roles.

Today we celebrate those mothers however they come—with two-legged or four-legged children. May you all have a great day!

Note: The bear above was quickly photographed with a telephoto lens from the safety of our vehicle. Its mother was standing close by, ready to defend and protect.