My kids don’t understand why today – Mother’s Day – is not about them. My dad, who’s visiting us this week, gave me a small wrapped package this morning (holding a pair of sweet earings) – and my spawn (Jack, 3 & Sophie, 4) went looking in his pockets for their presents.
We tried to explain that it was Mother’s Day, not Kid’s Day. They didn’t buy it.
We tried to explain that every day was Kid’s Day. “Yes,” they said, “So where are our presents.”
Then they went in search of their ‘babies’. Presenting a billion (whoops, I meant a million) dolls and lego people to me, saying, “See, we are moms.”
Then they asked if Baloula, one of our dogs, was a mom. I said no. They wanted to know if she would become a mom someday. I said no. They asked why. I had to explain that we had spayed her – because there are a lot of puppies out there without a home and it’s a big responsibility to let a dog be a mom because they make a LOT of puppies. Sophie made me promise that we wouldn’t spay her. “Because I’m going to have a lot of babies when I get older and I can handle it,” she said. They also maintained that she is Silas’s mom (he’s our other dog) – because she’s bigger than him (by 10 lbs.).
All of this made me think about the fact that Motherhood is very complicated and difficult to define. And my definition comprises this: Motherhood is about two things – creation and love. And that is all encompassing.
You don’t have to create another human to be a mother. That is so political and involves relationships or sperm donors and getting really, really fat. You can create words, stories, posts, books. Art, a garden, a home, an app. I created this blog – it does what I tell it to. I am so its Mama.
And you don’t have to love a human that came out of you to be a mother. You can love someone else’s creation – and be a stepmom or a fostermom or an adoptive mom…or just one of those people that everyone calls mom, just because that’s who you are. You can love a dog, a cat, a lobster. Plants, clothes, food. I love this blog – I feed it and clothe it and get it out of bed every single morning – sometimes, it talks back to me. I am so its Mama.
And, then, there’s self-creation and self-love. We’ve been working on those two things since we were born, you and I. And like any good child – we listen, we ignore, we follow, we rebel, we sing, we scream, we kick and we kiss. And like any good mother – even when we don’t like, even when we want to walk away – we love our creation no matter what.
Birth and then nurture. Create and then love.
Happy Mother’s Day…to you all.
(Especially to the Mom that originally created, and still loves, me.)
Image credit: gfpeck