I’d like to welcome my friend, Claudia, who is my next guest poster. I met Claudia a “few” years ago before she had her two kids and moved half way across the country. But I still adore her, and you will see why after you read her guest post. (PS–the photos are from me, Lolli)
It is not surprising to anyone who has ever so much as seen a pregnant woman that carrying and birthing a child is a whole-body experience. That part is a given. But there is much more to the experience of motherhood than that – mothers give their whole bodies to their children.
With her eyes, a Mother sees her newborn baby for the first time, watches her toddler’s first tentative steps, see her child off to school on the first day, watches them dress for their first date, and sees her child shine on their wedding day. With her ears, she hears that first cry, that first word, she listens to accounts of trials and troubles, to stories of schoolyard spats and hurt teenage feelings. She listens to her adult children as they venture forth into their own lives, and hears stories of her grandchildren and maybe her great grandchildren. With her lips, she kisses away boo-boos and ouwies, reads countless bedtime stories, and changes the outcome of a bad situation with a smile. She also bites those lips when she watches her child suffer through something difficult or when she wants to offer advice that she knows is better left for another time.
A mother’s arms and hands rock a baby to sleep, hold the uncertain hand of a preschooler, hug a tired teenager, and work, work, work. Laundry, cooking, and household cleaning are usually a mother’s job too, and she gives herself to these tasks as an act of service, charity, and love to her family. She throws and catches balls and Frisbees, and twists little girl hair into braids and buns. Her shoulders are a place of solace for sorrowing children, her shoulders stand proud as she sees her children accomplish things they thought they could not do, and those shoulders stand strong when she is faced with trials that threaten her family.
A mother’s heart was described well by author Elizabeth Stone, who said, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
A mother’s hips may never be quite as svelte as they were before she gave birth, but they make such an excellent shelf for carrying a baby and toddler – and sometimes even a preschooler who just can’t go one more step. As the mother ages, those are the same hips that often fail, and make it harder to run around with her grandchildren, but easier to sit and enjoy their exuberant youth.
A mother’s feet walk the floor with a fussy infant, teach a toddler how to walk, and play soccer with a growing young boy or girl. They pace the floor awaiting the sound of a teenager coming in at curfew. Her feet walk with joy at a graduation ceremony or wedding.
A mother’s knees crawl on the floor to encourage her little one to learn to move independently, then crawl some more to race matchbox cars and toy trains around tiny tracks, later, her knees run to keep up with lightning-fast children.
I am a mother. To my children and their upbringing, I have given my whole body. I do it willingly and lovingly, because that is what mothers do.
Submitted to Angie’s Wordful Wednesday
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