Not all women are Mothers
Not all Mothers are women
Being a Mother is an identity, a job, a wish, a life’s work, a calling.
Blessed Mother, Mother Teresa, Maia, Brigid, Florence Nightingale, Mother Goose, June Cleaver, Mother Nature.
These are the icons, the heroes, the giants in the care taking game. We can admire, imitate, even emulate, but these are at best two dimensional. They radiate, but do they participate? What is a real blood and bone Mother anyways?
The standard Hallmark Mother’s Day archetype embodies unconditional love, and impermeable safety. She is an ever-smiling font of wisdom and unselfish acts. All children know that their Mother is more complex than this cardboard cutout.
Real time Mom is a dynamic entity. Her emotions and parental interactions impact her offspring for a lifetime. A really great Mother is not just what she puts into the world. She is equally formed by what the world puts in her. The “real deal;” the penultimate keeper of the caring, has lumps and bumps, scars and fears. She comes with plenty of buttons to push. She is permeable and malleable and as dangerous as a female Grizzly with cubs.
In search of the perfect Mother
Some Mothers nurture and hold precious and sacred those in their care. Needs are anticipated, cries answered, and for all time, “Watch me Mom!” is a redundant request. For the rest of your life, someone is watching and that person’s name is Mom.
Other Mothers devour their young, feeding on their life force until they are no longer strong enough to leave her willingly. Some women conceive in tragedy, give birth and have nothing to offer their children beyond hunger, fear, and the agony of abandonment.
Enter here, the Mothers who will scoop up those lost babies, and hold them tight forever. From the dark world of lost souls comes a gift so precious that a Mother is born from the longing heart of the child given over to her care. Why does this salvation matter to the rest of us? A lifetime of love will be deposited into the universe and we will all benefit. Like a good rain in the desert, we all benefit.
So who inspired this celebration of the perfect Mom? Ann Jarvis from West Virginia was that Mom. She pushed and persuaded until wartime medics gave equal care to Yankee and Confederate wounded in her town. No small feat in the midst of the Civil War.
Her daughter Anna, honored her Mother’s lifetime work for peace by relentlessly haunting officials to make a “Mothers Day.” That they did, and Mother’s Day quickly became a sensationally successful capitalist vehicle.
Anna was apparently very vocal about how she expected her Mother’s altruism to be honored. Following years of protests against the appropriation of beauty and power of Mother Love by materialistic endeavors, Anna was deemed “crazy.” She died penniless in a sanitarium. No doubt sharing this indignity with other women of the era who couldn’t behave nicely.
Seems a wise choice not to tangle with a Mother,
We ARE a force of Nature.