Mother


     What a beautiful, painful, terrifying and vast responsibility being a mother is.  The universe hands you a child, a blank slate, raw clay.  Says to you “Mold her.  Shape him.  Give them the best of you, and pass on none of the bad.”

     I find myself explaining concepts that I never knew I could.  Why is “hate” a bad word?  Why don’t we throw rocks at birds?  Why do we brush our teeth?  And why, especially, do we NOT feed our dinner to the dogs?  It’s why?  Why?  Why?

     I find myself pushed to be better — MORE patient, MORE thoughtful, MORE creative.  I don’t want my progeny to be the “typical” child.  They will be thoughtful, polite, creative, independent thinkers.  They will stand up for what they believe in (even if it isn’t popular.)  They will think green. They will fight injustice on the playgrounds of life.  They will do the right thing because it is the right thing.

     I had thought for a time that becoming this person called “mother” meant that I could no longer be “me”  I know now that the word insists that I become MORE me.  Every experience I have ever had, good or bad, I now use to draw on to mold these little people.  It doesn’t matter if I’m tired, or sore, content or not in my daily life, I push for more and for better for THEM.

     I don’t know what I would do without my children.  They are as much a part of me now as my hand, or foot, or eye.  Ask the sighted what they would do if suddenly and terribly struck blind.  That is me without my littles.

     I find myself so often listening to instinct and somehow being strong enough to ignore the criticisms and advice.  Never did I think when I first saw those two pink lines so many years ago that I would be a co-sleeping, baby wearing, nursing on demand, cloth diapering mama.  Never did I imagine going on to relatives and friends about the benefits of extended breastfeeding and baby led weaning.  Me?  Pfft.  Instinct led me down the right paths.  I’m strong enough now to believe that I know what is best and right for me and mine.

     And yet, as much as motherhood has changed and mellowed me, in so many other ways it hasn’t.  We’ve eaten cold pizza and ice cream for breakfast for fun.  I’ve woken my kids and taken them to an all night diner for milkshakes in their footie pajamas.  They’ve watched beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and seen the full moon in the middle of July.  I don’t talk to my children like they are idiots, I speak as if they are small adults.  They are free to try to explore and taste anything in the world that I know won’t kill or maim them.  Our summers are filled with late nights and long days at celtic festivals and Scottish Highland Games.  We’ve explored Renaissance Faires and small county carnivals.  They know the vendors at the Farmers Market by name.  They understand that cows and chickens are tasty (not just cartoon animals), and know where their food comes from.  I bleach their hair and dye it funky colors.  They wear plaid and stripes together.  All of these things are pieces of the “old” me, the pre-mommy free spirit I used to be.

     I want them to see the good in the world.  I want them to believe that the wrong, the bad, the evil are such small small parts of the big picture.  I hate that they cry when they see the destruction of the oil spill on the television.  I want to shelter them from these things, but understand at the same time that they HAVE to know, to understand.  They will change the world.  They will heal the injustice.  The things they see and learn and touch now will affect them when they are adults.  I want to hold them close and shelter them at the same time that I’m showing them what’s wrong with the world.

     My children are beautiful.  And I am their mother.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenny
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 07:24:43

    Beautiful.

    Reply

  2. P.S. House
    Jul 13, 2010 @ 11:08:21

    Oh I love.love.love this post. Beautiful, elegant and sweet like a ripe watermelon. Absolutely splendid.

    Reply

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