when it is used as a verb than as a noun."
By Martha Beck
I am lucky to have a mother like that. And that's the type of mother I want to be.
Martha Beck, in her memoir EXPECTING ADAM, says beautiful and truthful things about motherhood and mothering that strike me right to core of my very being:
"Mothering has little to do with biological reproduction - as another friend once told me, there are women who bear and raise children without ever mothering them, and there are people who mother all their lives without ever giving birth. The bad news is that not all of us have the good fortune to be born to our real mothers, or to stay with them as long as we need them. The good news is that, while mothers are often in short supply, mothering is not. Against all odds, despite everything that works against it on this unpleasant, uncomfortable planet, mothering is here in abundance. You can always find it, if you're smart and know where to look."In addition to being one of the lucky few to have the good fortune of my real mother, I've also been blessed with many other people who've taken on mothering roles in my life: my oldest (but one year younger) friend, the college teacher who knitted and gardened and became a role model, the young mother who trusted me to take care of her baby girl when I first moved to New York, the dear Greek landlady who bakes for me, the first woman I trusted to take care of my own baby girl when I had to go back to work, and my wonderful mother-in-law who's felt more like my own family than "an in-law" from the very first day I met her. These women have mothered me in a way that's complementary to my own mother's guidance and love; they have also helped to shape my life.
I swell with pride when my own daughter calls out, "Mama, Mama!" - and although I want to be able to give her everything she could ever need or want or ask for - I know that one person alone cannot be the provider of all things. And my little girl already has several other mothers helping to shape her into the wonderful and sweet girl she is... in the day care family, in our landlady, in our glorious friends, and in her incredibly loving two grandmothers (and grandfathers). Not to mention her own Daddy, who adores her. Yes, there's that word again. It fits.
This cycle of motherhood and mothering feels like a deep comfort to me. One that is perhaps difficult to properly express, but easy to recognize. May we all be grateful for our many mothers.
For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Martha Beck's EXPECTING ADAM to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.