|Giving birth is easy. It's like pulling a watermelon out of your nose.|
A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never cared for pie. [Tenneva Jordan]
Far beyond the obvious physical changes, there's something about the miracle of having a child that changes a woman forever. Suddenly, a woman who used to be able to sleep through a sonic boom wakes up on full alert every time her baby rolls over or makes the tiniest sound. After having a baby, a woman who used to be a walking fashion plate doesn't think twice about wearing wrinkled clothes stained with spit-up. And holy moley, her capacity to love expands even more than her waistline did. (Good thing, too... if it didn't, no woman would ever have more than one child!)
There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child— and an instinct to make any child who needs love, her own. [Robert Brault]
Then, practically overnight, babies become teenagers, and all of a sudden the little kid who used to be afraid of the dark wants to stay out half the night with his friends. The princess who didn't take her first step until she was almost a year old wants to borrow the car. They will always be the children of her heart, but more and more, they also become children of the world.
The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant — and let the air out of the tires. [Dorothy Parker]
Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that supposed to mean? In my heart, it don't mean a thing. [Toni Morrison- Beloved]
Of all the things I've ever read about mothers, I think Erma Bombeck said it the absolute best in her essay, When God Created Mothers:
When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."
And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands."
The angel shook her head slowly and said. "Six pairs of hands.... no way."
"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God remarked, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."
"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. God nodded.
"One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word."
"God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow...."
"I can't," said God, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.
"But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can't imagine what this mother can do or endure."
"Can it think?"
"Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
"There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."
"It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."
"What's it for?"
"It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride."
"You are a genius, " said the angel.
Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there.”
And just as our mothers always look at us as their children, a certain part of us wants to hang onto them, too. We don't want things to change. We want them to always be there, our home plate in the game of life, our constant refuge. We don't want them to grow old; we don't want them to get sick, and God knows, we don't want them to die. But even after they do, they live on forever in our hearts.
The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. [Honore de Balzac]
Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a mother's secret love outlives them all. [Oliver Wendell Holmes]
To all of you mothers, I wish you a wonderful Mother's Day. To all of you whose mothers are still with you, cherish them, not just on Mothers' Day, but every day of the year. To those of you experiencing that heart-wrenching role reversal— taking care of your mothers, essentially mothering your mothers, as they once took care of you, with them depending on you as you once depended on them— bless you. I know how hard it is. For those of you whose mothers are no longer with us, I know you'll be thinking of them. And as long as they live in our hearts, they're never entirely gone.
Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world, a mother's love is not. [James Joyce]
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
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[Images from morguefile.]