I’ve spent the past seven months learning so much about myself, the people around me and I am continuing to learn things about the person I lost. There were/are days when I am so desperate for a feeling of comfort and safety. On those days, I have found the greatest escape in the arms of the mothers around me. So…I’m not writing this about my mother, really (though it was clear to everyone that she truly lived to be a mother). It’s about all mothers. With that said, I learned that motherhood is a force and I got to experience it so many different ways over the past few months. The beauty lies within the incredible qualities that ring true within all of the mothers in my life.
When I needed reassurance, strength, honesty, hope or just unconditional love, I turned to my mother (about a thousand times a day). My entire life, I have had a small group of women who have always been like second mothers to me. They weren’t mine, and they still aren’t mine, but they are mothers…and that is the most special thing about them all.
I have been pleasantly surprised over the past several months as I observed the beauty of motherhood and the qualities it provides to the women surrounding me. I am not only talking about the mothers I know; complete strangers (who just happen to be mothers) have that “motherly love” that only a mother knows. Here is what I have learned about mothers; in general. (Also, be prepared for me to refer to my 22-year-old self as a child…I still feel like one!)
1) They can recognize when someone around them is in need: and I mean any kind of need. It can be as simple as being a little hungry, to needing a hug or needing to cry uncontrollably. I have been in situations where I went from up to down in a matter of seconds. I don’t say anything, I don’t actually cry, but when it happens, one of the surrounding mothers notices immediately, while no one else in the room seems to notice. I’m still not sure how they do it, but it’s happened enough times that I consider it to be factual. They can sense a child in need…and that isn’t something that can be taught.
2) They are selfless: When a child is born or even adopted, I think some sort of wire crosses in the mother’s brain that completely changes their priorities. Every mother parents differently, but at the end of the day, if their child is in trouble, they will put up the fiercest of fights for them. On a lighter, yet just as important note, if a mother sees a child is still hungry even if they just ate, the mother is all of a sudden “not hungry” and she will give her entire meal to you. I’m sorry, but I can’t imagine a world where I consistently eat small bites of my meal then give it to someone else. That’s definitely a mom thing.
3) There’s some sort of motherly code, I think: Now that I lack a living biological mother, her friends (and my friends’ mothers) swooped in. It’s like they not only don’t want me to feel the emptiness, but they want her to know that they can do it. That they know how to be there for me. And they do. They can almost sense what days I might need them. They text me or call me to ask the same sort of questions she would have. No one told them to do that, but as mothers, they know that I just might need it. All of the mothers in my closest group of friends give us all honest, helpful and careful advice. They are mothers and we are children. They want us to be okay.
4) They are honest: I know what my mom was like, and I know what the moms around me are like and one thing is certain: they will always give us their honest opinions. Honesty is possibly the most important quality in any healthy relationship. With that said, a relationship between a mother and a child is one of the strongest relationships ever. Most likely because in addition to love, honesty is never lacking between a mother and a child. I trust the mothers around me because they look out for me the same way they would their own child. It’s not because they think I’m actually theirs or that I’m trying to be theirs, it’s because they are mothers and their instinct is to be there for a child.
5) They know how to love: Through all that I have learned, I am repeatedly brought back to one notion. Love is the answer. Being loved is a gift that should never be taken for granted. I don’t mean a romantic, gushy, over-the-top kind of expression. Love is something simple. It is showing kindness. It is expressed through thousands of different little gestures. At the end the days when I thought I’d end up lying on my bed drowning in my sorrows, I usually end up feeling insanely full with love because they came to my rescue with acts of love. It seems so cliché, but mothers can pour out a kindness and love that can make any child feel as if they are going to be okay. There was never a time when my mother couldn’t make me feel like the safest and most loved person in the world.
I could go on for days, but I think you get the gist of it. Mothers are the most impressive of all super heroes. We all have or had a mother at some point, we all know someone who is a mother. Thank them for what they do not only for their children, but for all children (which we all are). Thank you, mothers. You are all so special.
Sending much love from my soul to yours,
The Sunflower Child