Sunday, May 10, 2009

The wonder of it all

Twice in my life, I became a mother.

I was not ready, at first, for the tremendous responsibility of holding that tiny newborn and trying to calm her cries, giving her what she needed. Those first few weeks were a blur of anxiety and apprehension. Am I doing it right? The it, of course, being motherhood. My mother only smiled back at me, wisely and mysteriously. She knew what I had yet to learn, that children are resilient and everything was going to be fine.

By the time my son arrived, I had learned a lot. Not only was I more relaxed but so was he. Big eyes, quietly attentive ... watching, always watching.

I love the mathematics of motherhood. The years of struggling and caring and worrying and trying to get it right. Providing roots but also wings. The years fly by and suddenly, from 2, there comes a new generation of 1,2,3,4,5! Now it's my turn to smile and assure my grown kids that they are beautiful and strong parents, that they are certainly doing it right.

Beyond the abundance, I return to a simple act - holding my daughter, stroking her until she falls asleep. Doing what I did so many years ago, wiping her tears and providing a safe space.

I think being a mother takes you to the heights and depths of human experience. Your children's joys and sorrows carve niches in your soul. Sometimes, the richest moments are the most basic. Holding. Comforting. Knowing when to be silent. Looking down at your grown daughter's sleeping face and catching your breath ... remembering those eyelashes on a baby, held and sung to so, so long ago. Smiling your mother's smile and praying that everything will, indeed, be fine.



STW said...

Oh Mater! Bless you, so lovely. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love this - tears in my eyes. It made me think, once again, how much I have missed in life by not having my mother to share my motherhood with. The continuity of generations of mothering was broken between my mother and I, and I hope so deeply that one day I will be able to watch my daughter be a mother. One day.


Terry said...

Lovely. Lovely. It is worth it, isn't it?

Meg said...

This is lovely. I have tears in my eyes. I hope I can be as good a mother as you when my children are grown.

slouching mom said...

This is so beautiful.

moxiemommachef said...

you! are the best! :)

J-mama said...

Beautifully said. You are one heck of a momma!! Your children and grandchildren are so fortunate to have you in their lives.

Jenn said...

Oh. Oh! You're beautiful, Mom. Thank you for this. Oh.

I love how in the picture Sophie, Iris and Olivia all have the same expression. Strong genes!

nono said...

Happy Mother's Day to you too Mater. Thank you for your stories.

Birchsprite said...

Thankyou for your lovely comment Mater... if ever you make it to the Cotswolds let me know!

Wayne said...

The cousins are all lucky to have each other! I hope they really become close to each other and stay close.

Happy Belated Mothers Day!

Lori said...

Hi Mater,

After reading Jenn's latest post, "Madness", I called my daughter, who practices acupuncture, to ask her if that is a viable treatment for bipolar disorder. It is.

Acupuncture is amazing in the immediacy of its results. May I humbly suggest inquiring of its use as a possible resource of relief for Jenn? Please forgive me if I have overstepped.

Your daughter's courage and compassion are incredible.