Ma, Moeder, Mader, Matre, Mutter, Maji, Madre, Mama, Majka, Mami, Maman, Mother, Anya, Daya, Omm, Maire, Mat’, Mare, Mam, Mom…. Regardless of the tongue or tribe, “the art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children” ~ Elaine Heffner
A mama is a first kiss, a first love, a nurse, a cook, a maid, a teacher, a tutor, a taxicab, a cheerleader, a bodyguard, a financial aide, an investor, a confidante, a friend, your best friend, an advisor, a sounding board, an advocate, a shoulder to lean on, an arm to snuggle neath, a hand to hold, a lap to sit across, a side to stand up next to, an ear to open up to….. her very heart beats for her children.
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” ~ Linda Wooten
Her feet: The feet that swelled up carrying you, the feet that tip toed while gently trying to coax you to sleep in your own bed, the feet that slowly stood in balance while helping you to take your first steps, the feet that marched up to your room to discuss the bad grade on your report card, the feet that stood firm in support when dealing with a bully issue at the school, the feet that paced those late hours in the night praying for your safe return home, the feet that jumped for joy when you graduated from high school and then again maybe even higher when you graduated from from college, the feet that danced in true sorrow but disguised in happiness when you married, the feet that stood right there-before anyone else, hanging longer than anyone else, and not budging-the day you gave her grandchildren… Those very same feet, they do it all over again, this time as a grandmother .. Though this time may be slowed due to age and aches, maybe assisted with a walking stick or a walker or maybe even those precious feet kicked up for a ride in the wheelchair.. The presence of her feet have always been invaluable, like Cinderella, there is only one whose feet will fit the shoe – mama
Her Hands: The hands that wiped tears, covered wide open gasping mouth, maybe even dropped her head into her hands in disbelief, when she learned she would soon be a mother, the hands to first stroke your sweet baby face to sleep, the hand always open to hold yours, the hand that prepared and fed all the mouths around, the hands that gladly cleaned every spill or mess that she never made, the hands folded tightly in prayer over every high temperature – every bill that can’t be paid – before every meal and every night before laying her head down to sleep, the hands that spanked when done wrong, the hands that patted your back when good job done, the hands cheering you on at dance, t-ball, karate, field days, awards days, graduation day, the hands were once the softest most beautiful hands you’d ever seen to the days now where the thin skin seems much more wrinkled, worn and frail, pained with sore and tired joints now they can only hold a portion of what they once could. The hands remain open but lately it’s her turn to reach in need of assistance.
Her Mouth: The lips that planted your very first kiss, the mouth that lets out the sweetest tone your ears have ever heard, singing you to sleep at night, hushing the bad dreams away, calming your fears and belly laughing at the silly things you’ve always done, where the corners of her mouth are always turned up offering her smile to the world, She speaks no prejudices, not hate or harm, only love, compassion and encouragement echo from her lips. Her smile being the very window to her heart is now adorned with the lines of time and artificial pearly whites still she knows that a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear.
Her Eyes: The eyes that lit up in amazement of what her body could do watching every jumping jacks move you made while you formed in her growing belly, the eyes that couldn’t get enough of watching you sleep so peacefully in her arms, the eyes that teared up when you took your first steps – said your first words – first day of school, the look you didn’t want to see when you’d done wrong and the eyes that regardless of anything you’d done wrong still always saw the good in you, the eyes that taught you to see the good in all things, the eyes that knew empathy when seeing someone in need, the eyes that have seen generations of change now struggle to see through glaucoma and cataracts but they remain a clear window to her sweet sweet soul.
Together she uses her feet, her hands, her mouth and her eyes to follow her heart and mold you, direct you, guide you, inspire you and love you like no other.
Who fed me from her gentle breast And hushed me in her arms to rest, And on my cheek sweet kisses pressed? My mother.
When sleep forsook my open eye, Who was it sung sweet lullaby And rocked me that I should not cry? My mother.
Who sat and watched my infant head When sleeping in my cradle bed, And tears of sweet affection shed? My mother.
When pain and sickness made me cry, Who gazed upon my heavy eye And wept, for fear that I should die? My mother.
Who ran to help me when I fell And would some pretty story tell, Or kiss the part to make it well? My mother.
Who taught my infant lips to pray, To love God’s holy word and day, And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way? My mother.
And can I ever cease to be Affectionate and kind to thee Who wast so very kind to me,- My mother
Oh no, the thought I cannot bear; And if God please my life to spare I hope I shall reward thy care, My mother.
When thou art feeble, old and gray, My healthy arm shall be thy stay, And I will soothe thy pains away, My mother
Ans when I see thee hang thy head, ‘Twill be my turn to watch thy bed, And tears of sweet affection shed,- My mother.
by Jane Taylor
For so many though, Mother’s Day is a painful time of year…..
The child whose mom has moved her residence on to heaven above..
The child whose mother put her addictions before her children..
The child who could never do right by her mother, longing for a relationship that just was never there..
The child whose mom chose to give her up, for what reason it never really mattered to her children..
For the lady who chose her own life and freedom’s before her baby’s, still holding on to the pains of terminating her pregnancy..
For the rape victim who never imagined this would be the way she’d face motherhood..
For the lady who put her child’s needs before her own wants, choosing to a give her child to a family who could provide that better life..
The couple who yearns to expand their family but remain on the long waiting list for a baby needing a home..
The young lady whose body has only allowed her to bore angel babies..
The not so young anymore lady who feels she is running out of time to be a mama herself..
The mother who grieves the lose of her child at too young of an age..
The mother who was forced to single-handedly be both mother and father for her children, struggling to provide on one income..
The mother who has had to teach herself how to love her children, worrying that she would turn out just like her mother who just never knew how to love..
I’ve always thought it debatable: who loves who more, parent or child? My mom in all of her wisdom said it frankly this way: “I think I learned to love more as a parent. A child first loves because they are dependent on the parent for survival. Then hopefully learns to love as a reflection of the parent’s love.”
Thank you Mama for the sleepless nights you devoted to me, the back scratches and tickling my feet, the singing to me to help heal the pain, for sharing your side of the bed even as I had grown into my teens, for always giving me the first and last of everything, for letting me snag a bite of okra while you were still frying it up for supper (every time!). I am sorry for every care, concern and scare I ever caused you. You never deserved all that I threw at you. Thank you for not giving up on me, yet. I love you Mama.