Our mothers have sewn themselves into the quilt we have become. Some patches are scorched from burns that ache when we think of her, some patches are the brightest roses in our garden. Once a year we pause to thoughtfully consider mothers and mothering. Here are some snippets from Mother’s Day, 2020.
*A woman wrote about what she has learned since SIP (sheltering in place) with her children for 2 months: “All my kids need from me is a little love and attention.”
*My sister sent a photo of my parents smiling at her, right after she gave birth (at age 44) to her only child. “The most amazing time of my life was becoming a mother; and to see the look on my mother’s face was priceless.”
*I recall the moment my daughter was handed to me in a pink blanket by her tearful birthmother. The first time my daughter opened her eyes and looked into mine, my heart changed forever.
*A colleague wrote that, “Each night I ask (force) my kids to separately take walks with me, so we can talk and they can get out. They complain and resist and then…we have fun!”
*This message came from a friend of mine who is not a mother and I put it on FB on Mother’s Day: “Celebrating all women who offer caring, comfort, and compassion to others.”
*Nurses and doctors are putting pictures of their own faces on the front of their hospital gowns. This is so their patients can see them better. The masks and faceguards needed for personal protection in hospitals these days obscures the human face. People who are sick and scared can be comforted by seeing a friendly face. Attachment research shows that babies are most drawn to the human face. When babies are born, there clearest vision is from 8 to 10 inches. This is the general distance between nursing babies and the faces of their mothers. We bond and feel secure gazing into the face of a trusted other.
*A car drove up next door. A Mom opened her trunk and handed her two kids lunch. They parked in front of my neighbor’s house to have her 5-year-old boy visit his 5-year-old friend from a physical distance. I peek out the window and see my young neighbor scramble onto the hood of his car to visit his friend. His Mom is standing nearby with a 1-year-old on her hip. The boy in the car puts his hand on his cheek and says to his friend, “Don’t you just love staying home with your Mom?” The other boy yells, “Yeah”. Both Mom’s look at each other and giggle.
*Another Mom wrote on FB, “I have just survived 8 weeks living in an apartment with my 3-year-old.”
*I read this from Cheryl Strayed, the author of “Wild”: “There are so many kinds of mothers. The mothers you cherish and celebrate. The mothers who were never really there. The mothers who broke you. Who built you…The mothers who sewed themselves into the quilt you became…The mothers you love. The mothers you ache. The mothers you echo…”
I love this poetic description of all the feelings, with the love and loss, the power and the pain of our mother worlds. Our mother world is woven into the quilt we have become, or is now being sewn into who our young are becoming. May we honor this most primal and powerful of life connections.