June’s issue is about belief. We asked our contributors to tell us what they believe about motherhood, and they’ve come back to us with writings that demonstrate just how integral belief is to motherhood. Often we select essays because the words speak to us so deeply and because the writer approaches our theme in a new and fresh way. Their writing makes us see something differently and therefore, more clearly.When I lined up this month’s essays and examined them for their approach to theme, I realized that each of them reflect a similar belief—that through motherhood we become a child’s entire world and they ours, and that fact changes us in some permanent way. Robin Flanigan’s essay “The Cactus” leaves us spellbound as her young daughter asks her what it means to be adopted. As our contributor struggles to explain how much she wanted her daughter and how much she loves her, she learns that the child already understands intuitively that adoption means she is loved.

In her essay “Colt,” Liz Rasley shows us that her young daughter teaches her how to be herself and to accept herself just as she is, how motherhood has refined her down to her best self. “Sticks” by Alexandra Umlas will take your breath away with its visual beauty as a young girl watches an artist paint a landscape on t.v. Subtly, through silent observation, our Umlas teaches us as she teaches her daughter about life, death, and everything in between. Our fourth essay “Noodles,” by Melissa Kutsche, brings us up close as a mother learns about the wonder of life through the eyes of her young child. Finally, Emily James brings it all together for us in her beautifully reflective piece “Someone Else’s World.”

These mothers believe that motherhood can be a defining role, that it fills us with wonder when we view life through the eyes of our children, that motherhood, like life, is messy but full of joy, and that through it, when we give it our all, we often find ourselves.

Join our essayists and our talented poets at celebrating what they believe about motherhood.