Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mothering Big

A decade ago, I made one of those death bed promises that I don't regret, "I'll take care of him, don't worry Ma,"I reassured as I referred to my brother choking back tears.   My mother had always taken care of all of us.  Despite the miles that separated as I grew into adulthood, I knew that she was only a phone call away.  She was there during my most troubled years as a young wife with young children and two full time jobs.  I worked day and night with little sleep or rest.  During periods of great joy mother was there to celebrate births, little dimpled hands wrapping around her gnarled fingers as she rocked and cooed.  She had a great capacity for love. She was always there for me.

For nearly thirty-two years I have mothered.  When life is care-free it is easy to remain filled with love, hope and great joy.  It is during those times when you fear that you will fall to your knees collapsing under the weight of stress, anxiety, frustration and anger that living in the shadow of the most perfect mother becomes challenging.  

It is not fair to compare myself with my mother really.  We live in a different time. Parenting feels a bit more challenging than when I was a kid.  I rode my bike everywhere, the phone was connected to the wall and I could not go far in having a private conversation.  Life today seems more complex and tenuous.  Is that only because I am an adult and a responsible one?  Mothering is a complex job.  Certainly not for the faint of heart.

After my work is done on this earth, it is my fervent hope that  my children will look after one another.  It is in the act of mothering that our children begin to make connections for how they can move about the world nurturing in big ways.


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