Posts Tagged ‘mothering’

I am well past the stage of mothering small children. However, I have the privilege of being witness to the mothering talents of my two dear friends, DeeAnn and Jen. I’ve often wondered how I managed to become heart friends with these two women who were raised in the generation behind my own, but speculation about this phenomenon is beside the point. Among the treasures of their friendships with me has been the front row seat I occupy in observance of their exquisite mothering. They are exquisite mothers, both of them.

From my front row seat at these mothering performances, the first thing I notice is that the stage is quite small. The essence of the story happens in, what? a maximum of 27 cubic feet of space, I’d say. An invisible chamber of creative power.

Because mothering is all about the lap. A mother’s lap is the source of all goodness in the universe, don’t you think? If you could tap into your deepest need, isn’t it a lap you long for most? I mean, if you weren’t embarrassed to admit it, don’t you sometimes crave a warm soft place to just plop down and lean?

Their laps are magical, as I am awed to observe. The emotional sustenance that emanates from this place is palpable, substantive. The simple act of holding a child, meeting him or her with a full mother’s presence, creates an invisible bubble of the best stuff in the universe – an ambiance of safety, nurture, warmth, connection, and peaceful being. I’ve watched all five of these little children – Grace, Abby, Liam, Amelia and Lucy – consume that stuff like a 757 consumes jet fuel. They’re gluttons for it. It runs the universe, this stuff.

Watching them makes me wistful, taps into my longing. From my front row seat I often wonder, who would I be if I had been loved that well?

But that is my empty, as Karen wisely wrote. That is my empty. That is my full.

Yours too, no doubt.

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I’ve had an explosion since yesterday, in my mind. A vein of gold. I hardly know what to say now, I’m so full of ideas.

Motherlessness, let’s see…I had a mother of course, as we all did. Mine was fine. Good enough, as they used to say in certain psychological circles. According to object relations theory, “good enough mothering” insures that whatever wound we carry in our soul doesn’t fracture our mind. Inadequate mothering, however, and we could end up as a dreaded Borderline Personality Disorder. Of course no one knows just how good good enough will be until we either do or don’t end up on Axis II.

But I digress…(Honestly, what did we do before Wikipedia?)

Still, motherlessness is a wound to the soul. But what is it, for those of us who actually have (or had) a mother?

I leave you with the words of Karen Miller, from yesterday’s comments section:

(but only because I have to go to work)

“There it is. There is your empty. There is your full. It is your motherless child and your childless mother. It is not the end, as you know. We weep.”

…more on this, I promise.

Meanwhile, talk to me. What are your stories of motherlessness? Can you relate?

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