Sunday, May 8, 2011


We all belong to a mother.

When I became a mother, I felt accepted into a worldwide sisterhood. I went out with my newborn and women would stop me to look at him and would share glimpses of their own experiences with motherhood: how many children they had, little bits of advice that revealed in some small way the things that they had experienced as mothers. Smiles. An extra hand that held the door or the receipt I was supposed to sign since my other hand was occupied.

At first, this reception surprised me. People who never would have spoken to me were talking to me now. And then, as I thought about it, I was amazed. Because here is the thing: everyone here on earth, all the billions and billions of people had been born.

And that got me thinking about birth, and how much work it takes to give birth, to deliver a child, to be born. And how miraculous and awesome it is that so many people were born! And so many women gave birth! It is astounding.

I know a lot of mothers. I always have. As a child I knew my mothers and my aunts and my grandmothers and my friends mothers and other mothers in my church or community. Now, as a mother, I know even more mothers, and more intimately. And yet, there are SO MANY mothers that I don't even know! That I've never seen! Whose names I've never heard! Whose names I probably would mispronounce if I tried to say them.  

And so many more women, young women, and girls are future mothers! It boggles my mind, and I love it.

I love motherhood. I feel extraordinarily lucky in motherhood.

First, that I became a mother on my own terms -- accompanied by a husband I love so dearly, and at the time in my life when I wanted to start a family. I didn't have the jolt that an unexpected pregnancy must bring, or the drawn out stretching of having to wait to become pregnant. Or any of the million other scenarios and ways there are to become a mother that would have been less than ideal to me.

Second, that in motherhood I am fulfilling my dreams. I was taught from a young age, by my church and more importantly by my sincere and loving parents, that to be a mother is a holy calling. I learned that mothers must nurture and protect their children, guide them as they grow, let them fail when necessary. I learned that God was very interested in mothers, and in helping them raise children. That, at any time, a mother could call on Him for help and expect miracles. I was explicitly prepared in my youth for motherhood. I learned how to change diapers and entertain children. How to teach them and how to discipline them with love.  I practiced on my younger siblings and on children that I babysat. And, because I was given such instruction and practice, I knew that motherhood was a path I wanted to pursue.

I love being a mother.  One day, a few months (weeks? time then is fuzzy) after Benjamin was born, I said to Jacob, "I think I love being a mother. Because I loved being a student, and motherhood is way better." Or something like that, anyway.  Isn't that how life is? We all have different lives, and different experiences and who knows what life will bring until it has arrived.

Anyway, these are just a few of my thoughts at one moment in my life. Happy Mothers' Day.


Cami said...

every mother would love a daughter like you!

Ashley said...

A lovely message from a lovely mother.