Amazing May 11: Mothers and Motherhood

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and all who act as mothers.

For this day’s post I’m sharing a few of the memories that came to me when I asked myself what is amazing about mothers and motherhood. I’d love to read some of your stories about mothers and mothering as well. Please share in the “Leave a reply” section below.

I think of one of the first times I saw my friend Debbie as a mother. We were at a friend’s wedding. I was just barely pregnant myself. During the reception, her toddler was napping on her lap while we were talking. The music got loud. Without, a pause in the conversation she put her hands over her son’s ears and held them there while we continued to talk. I was struck by the grace with which she did that and the way caring for her child had so quickly become part of the repertoire of what she does.

I think of my own mother—who is so consistently there for me, long after I’ve grown up. When I was thirty-three, I was driving cross-country. I stopped in a Texas hotel, lay down to rest and found myself feeling increasing panic for no discernible reason. Frightened and not sure what to do, I called my mother in the middle of her work day—something she had instructed me decades ago to do only in an emergency. She quickly made time in her day to get on the phone with me, and calmly and lovingly help me sort through what was going on until we realized I was having an asthmatic reaction to the new carpeting in the hotel.

I think of the photo I have hanging in the kitchen of my great-grandmother cooking in a cast iron pan, much like one I use regularly. The photo, shown below, was taken by her grandson, my father, at about age 11. This image reminds me of the many meals and other tasks that my mother, and mother’s mother, and grandfather’s mother, and all my ancestors have made so that their children and children’s children and I can live.

photo by Stephen A. Fisher

photo by Stephen A. Fisher

I think of something I wrote as I was preparing for the birth of my son. Many aspects of being a mother surprised me, but this thought continues to hold true: “It is such an honor to become someone’s mother—to be part of a spirit coming into the world as a new person and to get to care for and know that person in such a close way.”

Thank you, mothers. Thank you, children who make it possible us to be mothers.

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