|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]
Having a child changes a woman forever, and I'm not just talking about the decorative stretch marks, bulging hemorrhoids, or the tendency to tinkle a little every time she laughs too hard. No, it goes much deeper than the physical changes. After expelling miniature human beings from their bodies, women who could once sleep through a sonic boom suddenly wake up on full alert every time their babies roll over or make the tiniest sound, and women who used to be walking fashion plates suddenly have no problem wearing wrinkled clothing stained with spit-up. And holy moley, their capacity to love expands even more than their waistlines 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 before we know it, the little boy who was afraid of the dark now 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 now wants to borrow the car. No matter their age, they will always be the children of their mother's 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, in which God is attempting to meet some very daunting specifications to create the perfect mom. After struggling to get her right, an angel points out that the model has a leak. God replies that it's a tear, and when the angel wants to know what it's for, God says:
"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.”
Now here's another of Erma's wonderful insights about motherhood:
Just as our mothers always look at us as their children, as we grow older, 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 Mother's 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 who have already lost your mothers, I know you'll be thinking of them. And as long as our mothers 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.
During the month of May, every comment you leave here will earn you a shot at winning a FREE autographed copy of Explosive Beginnings. Pssst! Wanta up your chances? All ya have to do is mention my book on your blog, and it'll earn you another two chances.
(If you're on Goodreads, I'd sure appreciate it if you tagged my book as one you'd like to read.)
[Images from morguefile.]