How beautifully everything is arranged by nature. Just as soon as a child enters the world it finds a mother ready to take care of it. Luckily mothers have been relieved of such duties as milking cows and making butter so they’ve been able to move up to family economists, child psychologist, career person and still cook, too. Mothers are the most unselfish, the most responsible people in the world.
Motherhood is not a matter of bearing children; that is a biological event. Motherhood is diapers and bottles; clinging hands and endless questions; joyful tears and foolish fears. But, most of all, motherhood is an opportunity to influence the transformation of a child into a remarkable human being. Just as breast milk cannot be duplicated, neither can a mother. No one like one’s mother ever lived. Mothering is an art which demands affection, gentleness and understanding; firmness, restraint and sacrifice. At the heart of a mother’s sacrifice is the knowledge that one day she must set her child free. A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary. A mother achieves more than a hundred teachers. Where do mothers learn all the things they tell their children not to do?
What on earth would children do if they didn’t have mothers to help them through their troubles. A mother understands what a child does not say. Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe, of being able to pour out words and thoughts and know that she would take and sift them, keeping what was worth keeping and parting with the rest. Of all the home remedies, having mother there is best.
As a mother you serve much longer than you expected. Now, as always, the most automated appliance in the house is you. After all, who wants to try to make pies like mother makes when it’s so much simpler to let mother make them in the first place! To bear and rear; to cook and clean; to be instantly available without being underfoot; no wonder the profession is free of male competition.
It is such a grand thing to be the mother of a mother that the world calls you a grandmother, and, just about the time a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother and a grand babysitter. A mother never realizes her children are no longer children. No matter how old they are, a mother still watches for signs of improvement. In the eyes of its mother, every beetle is a gazelle.
Mom is a much more magical word than mother. It holds memories of sunlit rooms and laughter and love beyond the dreams of anyone. Memories, too, of the push and tug it took to keep you up to par, to make you more than you thought you could be. And memories of advice that did not fall on deaf ears. I heard you then, and I hear you now, and I thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I love you mom!
Barbara Smallwood/ Glenn Taylor
Framed on the head of my mom’s bed for most of my adult life. Copied 12-28-12