I spent a lot of time holding & cuddling my sleeping “baby” (aka, the toddler) yesterday. She wanted “mama” all day long & slept next to me for her nap & in my arms at the beginning of the night. When she was taking her bath, I heard her calling out “mama… mama!” sweetly as I stole a few minutes of solitude in the kitchen.
As I lay staring at her in the afternoon light during her nap, I thought of a tree.
I want her to be mine. Forever mine. But I know that’s not what motherhood & childhood & life are about. She’s no more mine than my partner is mine. She is no more mine than a beloved tree.
The most I can I hope for is to be a part of her core. Like the seed that (I imagine) forms the core of the rings of a tree. She will, I hope form her self around that inner core.
The core will, naturally, become more distant to her outward appearance & the self that she presents to the world, but it will still be there.
My job, is to be loving & stable, so that her core & the inner rings that are forming right now, are as solid as possible.
And that core is not only my work, my job, but also that of the others who are central to her life right now. That is the motherly work of parenting. So, whether you are a mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, grandma, grandpa, uncle, aunt, babysitter, nanny, friend, your work is important. Happy Mothers’ Day.