Five minute Friday with Kate Motaung
//If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother
So many things I could say about having a mom and being a mom. The joys, the responsibilities, the frustrations, the grief, the fights, the fears, the headstrong will of holding tight and the tearful surrender of letting go. All of it because a child is a tender offshoot of a mother. There is a physical bond shared with no one else.
“Don't girls believe in birth control”? She looked at me with pity and disdain mixed with a touch of arrogance.
“Birth control makes you gain weight”, she said.
I just stared in amazement.
“And pregnancy doesn't”?
“Well, yes, but you lose it afterwards”.
I couldn't contain myself. I tried. We were out in a public place having this conversation. I got up slowly from my chair. I slapped my hip and responded, calmly, quietly, but deliberately.
“No, you carry the weight of that child as long as you live. Extra weight, I said, and it is heavier than anything you will ever carry physically”.
You don't know anything until you are right smack in it. I recall some conversations with my mother when growing up where we were of two extreme opinions. Sometimes I spend my energy and words saying “mom, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I didn't see. I didn't listen”. I'm saying it to a mom who isn't here any more, although I can hear everything she ever said.//
How much I would love to talk with her again. But if she were here, would I get frustrated? We were two different people. We shared some of the same values, but generation gaps will never completely close. I would hope I would have more patience and respect for those spaces and instead of trying to color them in with my adamant certainty, perhaps I could find nuances that could blend from both sides. Shading softens, creates peaceful tones and defines.
And this week as I hear people talk about what to get their mothers? Well, what I want is really what I already have, why I can celebrate this day at all, my children. No matter what the gaps, what the issues, they are my children. Is my mom still my mom? I know I carry some of her genes. Genetics is a wondrous science. You carry your children for as long as they live and then God determines the rest.
Children are life and to give or take away life is a grave responsibility. If you are a mom, you are everything.