Sunday, May 13, 2012

always, always...


Always, always, always I wanted to be a mother. When I was a little girl I loved my dollies. When I played with my cousins and friends, we more often than not played ‘house’, making elaborate messes with the doll clothes, play furniture and dishes. As I grew and those same friends started to talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up, I never wondered. I played along like I was exploring the different possibilities but it was never very real for me. Because I knew I wanted to be a mother. When I did in fact reach the age of attending university the decision to study Education was easily made. I wanted to take something that would be practical in my chosen career. There were other options that appealed to me as being interesting but I knew that if I could pursue my first choice (motherhood) that would be best served by studying how children learn and how to teach them. So I declared a major in Early Childhood Education. I didn’t teach professionally (aside from some interesting/alarming experiences as a substitute teacher) but I have never regretted that or my decision to prepare to teach my own sweet children.
Deciding to be a Professional Mother has been (and will continue to be) a joy and a blessing to me. I recognize that I have been very blessed to be able to follow that path - to have welcomed children into my life, to be at home with them and to make a home for our family. It wasn’t particularly fashionable to have five children but I didn’t care - I felt so lucky and so happy as we planned and anticipated the arrival of each child. I loved being pregnant and was fortunate to have healthy, active pregnancies. I felt strong and empowered as I delivered each beautiful son and daughter into this world. And I felt completed as I held and nurtured each tiny person. What a great privilege to be given the responsibility for another person’s beginning. So very humbling to know that a tiny being depends on you for every comfort and need.
At every stage of our family’s life I have wanted to stop time because everything seemed so perfect, so golden and I could not imagine that it would ever be as good again. But I have recognized how often I have thought that and now expect that I will love each new stage as I have the previous ones. Once I could not imagine how I could be happy without an infant in my arms and home but I was. I wondered how I would feel about mothering teenagers but discovered that my kids just got better and better as they got older. And when they all left home and it was just David and I together, I thought my whole purpose in life was finished as well, but again I learned that although the landscape had changed, it was only different not worse. I am always a mother. It is not only what I do, it is who I am. I  love each of my children fiercely and completely. I know them   - their strengths, weaknesses, joys, fears - and find them infinitely precious. There is nothing of myself I would not give them and not one of them that I would exchange for another. I marvel at the wonderful talents and strengths - each unique but curiously related - and rejoice in the love, support and respect that has grown between us.
I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I didn’t know how much it would demand nor could I have guessed how much it would return. I am happy to say now  - I love it! No matter the hardships or the sorrows, I love being a mother to the five I “hatched”. Nothing could be better. Always, always, always ....

Happy Mother's Day.


In the summer of 2010 Eden and Merin worked together on the beginning of a very special gift for David and I. Eden completed it after Merin's death. She asked me to write an essay on myself as a mother. This is what I wrote (with a few minor edits). For the last couple of weeks as I have been reflecting on mothers and mothering many various ideas have occupied my thoughts. As I sat down to record some of them this morning, I decided to add this to the public record of who I am. It is included in the book that Eden (and Jonathon) made but that is a very private record. This is in a way, my Motherhood Manifesto. 

3 comments:

Jessica Duchin said...

what a beautiful essay. thank you for sharing and inspiring strangers! happy mothers day!

Big Reid said...

great essay. your kids are blessed to have such a mom

ec said...

simply beautiful.