Joys and Sorrows: The Celebration of Motherhood
The miracle that a mother-to-be feels in her womb is one of the most blessed of all awareness in knowing that life is unfolding within. The excitement of becoming a mother is overwhelming at times, with all of the questions of how to raise a child and the fears that instinctively surface to keep our young safe and secure. It is when we are in the position of raising another that we truly begin to understand what our own mothers endured. Compassion is born out of our realization that motherhood is a journey into untold joys and inevitable sorrows that naturally evolve as our lives unfold on a planet we endearingly call Mother Earth.
|Photo taken or artwork on display in Chicago Institute of Art|
Celebrating Mother’s Day is imbedded with traditions of crayon signed cards and imprints of little fingers forever immortalized in clay paper plate treasures. We hold a banner in our hearts for our mother’s love and support, given without question whether we deserved it or not. And the endless toil of molding young psyches and the caring of countless needs a of growing child– oftentimes taken for granted. The only roadmap a mother has to rely on is the indelible impression laid down from her own mother, grandmothers, and perhaps sisters and aunties– a sisterhood forming the maternal portrait of generations. Perfect and imperfect imprints of raising, nurturing, and living.
When little ones take their first steps, moms hold their breath in anticipation– making sure the inevitable falls are followed by getting back up continuing on our way. It’s a pattern that continues from toddler to adult. The endless cheer of mothers. If only we could spare our children from terrible mistakes and hardships. Yet, we know that is an important process; an integral part of growing up. Mothers, however, are the way showers and protectors; the encouraging as well as critical voice urging young ones to keep moving, focusing on the positive, and discovering personal talents and profound soul purpose.
Endless joys and countless sacrifices come with the territory of motherhood. Losing sleep, putting others first is a trademark that widens the giving chamber of the heart and naturally diminishes the receiving side. We give out of an eternal wellspring of love, and somehow we become used to coming last- after our kids are taken care of and tucked safely into bed. We often put our own dreams aside in favor of the budding possibilities of our offspring. And when our children achieve, we beam with pride as they take center stage; when they stumble or fail we selflessly take it personally– looking within ourselves for what we might have done better. It is not fair or logical to take on the blame for a child’s mistakes, but so easy to do in the wellspring of a mother’s heart.
Mother’s Day can be a day of mixed emotions- the longing of the time when we were comforted by our own mother’s embrace and uncanny ability to know what was troubling us without a word exchanged. For those who lose their mothers far too young, a sense of feeling cheated surfaces, not being able to share the expansion of the family in the birth and raising of grandchildren. When our mothers pass on, the holiday is bittersweet. Frailties and faults forgotten and forgiven– with loving memories forever sketched in longing remembrance.
No matter what our experience on this special holiday, we are reminded of the place of honor motherhood is held in our heart’s celebration. And mothers everywhere are cherished for their part in the joys and sorrows of life; the creation and nurturing of what is most precious.