Being, Mothering and being a mother. As a child i wanted to be a cat. and have a litter of kittens. I grew up and along with many litters of kittens, i had a human as well……..i have yet to become a cat.
My son turned twenty-one this year.
Someone said, “Well – I guess your job is officially over!”
I remarked that they clearly had no children.
Ok it was not one of my better moments…. Most people who know me know it was also rare – but something about the way it was said hit a nerve…
and I apologized, of course, with a story, of course –
When my son was four years old we went with my mother to visit my grandmother in the nursing home. My Grammy was in her nineties, but when she saw my mum she cried out – My Baby! And hugged her, my mum jokingly pretended to sit in her lap as my Grammy hugged her about her waist. (Mum was perched on the arm of the wheelchair with her leg dangling)
“BUT” cried out my son, “She’s MY Grammy!”
“She may be your Grammy but she will always be my baby. Always.”
And so it goes, back and back and back thru the ages….you will always be somebody’s baby, someone’s child.
Recently I was with a young gal, very young gal, who wanted to have a baby. She is unmarried and underage – but she wants a baby.
“You want a baby.” I replied.
“Yes, I want someone who will love me – ME, totally, un-con-dition-nally.”
I breathed and left space for the Holy. As if. But invitations are always polite.
I looked at her, and I was filled with love and sadness.
You have that backwards.
I know that was not your experience – but it is not the babies, or the child’s, or the teen’s responsibility to love you unconditionally –
That would be your job. As a mother. No matter what. That is the job description.
Job training is, however, hard to find. Internships are rare. Role models hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Mythology trumps education again, as if ovaries somehow taught caregiving skills and patience…
I recently was with a woman who is in her 50’s. She was mourning, as she does every Mother’s Day. She spoke of having children, and of a miscarriage when she was young and of the thousands and thousands of dollars spent in trying to conceive. She does not believe in birth control for anyone, nor does she believe in abortion. And she spoke of never having a baby, of not having children….. and her pain is real…..
and i sat there with her, remembering my miscarriage and I remember sitting with young girls as they got abortions and with babies who are being adopted, and I remember my labour and c-section and the smell of my newborn. I believe all is holy.
And I was filled with love and sadness.
And as I think about all of these women, one so young, and one so old and one in the middle – I am struck my this thought.
Mothering is Giving.
Having….. Having – is – owning. And ownership is limited.
Mothering is nurturing, – raising toward freedom and giving to a wider world.
The World needs mothers, just as She is herself a Mother.
Whether children came thru your body or Her wider one is not relevant.
You are always a child of the Earth, you are always a child of the Divine.
You may call yourself a child of God –
You can be a grown-up of God too.
Be a Mother.
Happy Mother’s Day.