now that i'm a mother i can appreciate not only how wonderful and miraculous it is to raise a child, but also how difficult and heartbreaking it can be, too. as a way of describing the emotional sensation related to motherhood, someone once likened it to 'giving birth to your own heart', and i think that summation perfectly captures the level of rawness and vulnerability that goes along with being a mother. so, along with this new awareness, i've been feeling a lot more understanding and deep gratitude for the work my own mother has done all these years. motherhood is a tough job and there's a lot of uncertainty involved. the fear that you might screw something up or that you're letting someone down is almost constant. or, maybe that's just me. or, maybe that's just the newness of my motherhood. maybe it gets easier. but, i somehow doubt it.
however, i imagine that with time, our capacity for holding all the awe and anxiety and joy and overwhelm and bliss and fear and ecstacy and doubt and all the rest becomes deeper and wider. and that maybe, eventually, we come into a state of grace around this heart that has been born from, yet lives on the outside of, our bodies...as a completely independent being...and we find a way to relax into the great unknown and embrace this uncertainty that has become our lives as mothers. let's hope so. and, now i also understand even better the wisdom in establishing a place of stillness and silence and prayer...a place to cultivate grace and mercy and forgiveness...as this may be the only way to survive as a mother. finding grace may be the only way to reconcile your living, beating heart walking around vulnerable in a not always so hospitable environment: accidents, illness, and injuries; schoolyard bullies; adolescent angst; sex, drugs and rock and roll; broken hearts; social and environmental degradation. these are just a few of the gobblins and ghouls that can keep a mother up at night.
now i can fully appreciate why mothers are so seemingly crazy or neurotic about the safety of their children and how they might go to any lengths to protect
them. given that, i'm especially looking forward to seeing the new movie, 'babies', and...even without seeing
it...think it should be required viewing. because, if people really embraced the truth that each baby, every child, is a precious being and that everyone loves their babies with the same
intensity the whole world over, it would be impossible to wage war on another country regardless of other motivations. and, looking into one child's eyes would be like looking into your own
child's eyes and it would be unthinkable to harm them. but, of course, we already know that is not the case. that plenty of wars are waged and continue to rage worldwide despite our knowing that
life is precious, that children and babies are precious. so, i don't know what will make that change. but, thank goodness for the 'grannies against the wars', and their acts of selfless, loving
'mothering'. maybe someday we'll learn and they won't have to gather on the streets in all kinds of weather anymore. maybe these mothers and grandmothers can finally rest and stop worrying about
the safety and well being of the babies and children and people of the world.
so, maybe it both does and doesn't 'get better'. maybe there's grace to get us through the darker moments and we do our best to raise happy, healthy well adjusted children who become happy, healthy peaceloving world citizens. but, whether that happens or not...whether good sense, mindfulness and loving care are enough to protect our children...we let them go as gracefully as possible and allow their lives to unfold. heart of our hearts. but, our love is infinite and, therefore, our 'work' as mothers is never done. and, if there's enough energy left over from the wellspring that is the resevoir of a mother's love, we too may find ourselves on the streets as eighty and ninety year old women protesting the abomination of war. i hope not. but, if so, i'll see you there.
and, lastly, since this may not be the most uplifting post to date, i'll leave you with a book recommendation that's a little bit lighter: 'lift', by kelly corrigan...a very sweet little book...happy reading and happy mother's day.