The Mother Hood & Why You Belong Here

The Mother Hood.

It is a place which demands a response when thought of, either of ones own experience in it as a child and from either an association or seeming distance from it as an adult. It is an experience lit with varying shades of emotion, from sun-lit joy to a gray shade of grief and for most, a combination of emotional patterns. As we approach Mother's Day, my mind wanders to the women I know who are finding themselves in the hard and holy spaces that encompass this place.

There is the little girl inside who is still working, after years of therapy, to repair what her mother knowingly or unknowingly destroyed. There is also the little girl inside who was loved well, albeit imperfectly, and used that love as a building block to grow up and into herself.

photo credit: Cool Springs Garden

There is the woman who at (mostly) the expected time, in (mostly) the way she hoped for became part of the Hood by a traditional means and is undertaking its duties as best as she knows how. There is also the woman who ran into this Hood unexpectedly, and either gave the life growing inside to another woman to raise or found herself in a place were she felt cornered and alone, fearful for herself and her unborn child, choosing to end the pregnancy before it progressed any further, both with their own hidden brand of grief. There is yet another woman, who has done all she could, through years of dead-ends and dashed monthly hopes, injections and projections, hope carried and miscarried...all to find herself feeling excluded from the Hood her heart was set on. And she grieves, as she should.

There is the woman who mourns the loss of her mother, the one who is here, whose form is still in the flesh, but whose memory has betrayed her body forcing a slow goodbye. There is the woman who braces herself for all the holidays approaching with a catch in her heart, for it is the "first" without her mother's physical presence here with her. There is the woman who, in the isolating times we find ourselves in, weeping for the mother who lives alone, who she cannot hug or let those beautiful, worn hands hold hers. These women grieve a light dimmed, as they should.

There is the woman who has taken in and taught twenty or more children every year, releasing them at the end of nine months only to take twenty more three months later. There is another woman who can say words to the children who call her "aunt" and she may not know it, but her voice carries more weight than that of their mother. There are those for whom motherhood is not a possibility or perhaps keen desire, and they've chosen to keep it close to their heart, yet their life is made of countless moments in which they stop to share, to care, to sit with another woman in her pain. They are defined by who they are, what they do, not what they are called.

There is a woman, and it can be any one of the women described above, whose heart has been...

bruised and blessed,

gutted and fortified,

lost and found,

broken and reborn...

...and she continues to take one step in front of the other, recycling all of her hope and heartbreak to tend to those in her sphere.

photo credit: Cool Springs Garden

There is a beautiful tendency built into the spirit of most every woman to nurture. Properly tended, it will manifest and tunnel and channel itself in various forms. It is love put into action, and when applied to themselves and then to whomever life brings into their path, even if just for a moment, it is a distinct trademark of one who lives within the Mother Hood.

Being called "mom" is a gift to be sure, but it is not the highest honor nor does it offer an exclusive membership to life in the Mother Hood. There is a vast village of women whose lives have been colored with such a wide variety of experiences, and no matter what their station or status, when they use their beautiful, broken hearts to love on the people in their path (including their own selves, the little girl to the one they are now, the one who God delights in), they all share the same address.

Happy (and healthy, in body and spirit) to all the amazing women I know.


Jessica Cosgriff said…
Please never stop writing ❤️
James said…
“when they use their beautiful, broken hearts to love on the people in their path (including their own selves, the little girl to the one they are now, the one who God delights in), they all share the same address.”
Thank you for sharing your gift of words with us. Happy Mother’s Day to an exceptional woman. Love you! -Jen

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