Saturday, May 8, 2010


Today we celebrate our selfish need to recreate in order to give purpose and meaning to our lives. Naturally, this desire is cloaked by our unselfish yearning to give unconditional love. Yeap folks, that is what mothers’ day is…the day we get presents and thanks from the people that WE are the ones to owe the most to – our kids!

It is also the day we say cliché words and buy chocolates and flowers to thank “the womb” - the nurturing source of our life that has inspired such great artworks, literature, music, mythology and high expectations. And because of the miracle of motherhood and the inspiration it is, we will forever fall short in its fulfilment.

But just for trying, for making the effort, I say
The woman in this photograph by Dorothea Lange, aged 32 when it was taken, was a mother of seven. She and her children were living off gleaned vegetable seconds and birds they were able to kill. She had just sold the car's tires to get food money when this photograph was shot. It is titled "Migrant Mother With Seven Children" (1936).


Robin said...

The mother in the photo looks so weary. Clearly she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Actually, she just has a bigger burden than she car bear. More children than she can feed. I can't imagine the stress of that. I suppose it is good that you allow your mother to believe that you have a close relationship. It makes me thankful that I actually have a close relationship with mine. She truly is my best friend. When my health failed, all of my friends faded into the woodwork. They were the people I thought I could count on through thick and thin. Turns out I was wrong about that. They were the people I could count on if things were smooth sailing and my life didn't get too complicated. My mom, however, turned out to be a rock. And those people that I thought were my best friends... well, they turned out to be just friends. Fair weather friends. Except for a couple who live on the other side of the country. And that is nice, but when you need a hug, not very comforting. I hope that your kids end up feeling about you the way that I feel about my mom. It won't happen today, tomorrow,or even in th next ten years. But in the their twenties... if they look at you and see love and not judgment, I think that you will get there someday. I know that you're a better mom than you think you are. Happy Mother's Day.

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Hi Mary, I've had and felt these moments, I feel because of my Mom's shortcomings, I'm the mother I am to my grown children. I know why I'm close to them and why I don't judge them, I often felt that way as a child. At times, it's hard to forget some of the things that happened when I was growing up. That's what great about having kids, you get to relive your childhood and maybe correct the things that happen to you through raising them differently. I'm sure my kids might feel the same about me and my short comings. I just hope their willing to forgive me if I've done anything wrong. Forgiveness gives us alot of freedom, no bondage and total peace. It makes you look at the world a whole differently. Have a blessed Mother's Day! Sandy :O)

Purple Cow said...

@ Robin - Secrets for me have little to do with closeness...sometimes its the closeness that causes the secret. That said, I know that I can count on my mother more than any of my friends...but even so, I think its wrong to count on anyone beyond yourself.

@ Sandy - YOU don't judge your children because of your mother. I judge MYSELF because of mine.

Ro Magnolia said...

Interesting comments about our great expectations on the mother/child relationship. Makes it very hard not to disappoint, eh? (by the way, classic Canadianism ... using "eh?" at the end of a sentence as a substitute for "yes")

Made me think about one of my dogs for a moment. I got her when she was 7 weeks old and several years after the fact, I walked into our vet's office and she started going crazy trying to go over to the other side of the room where a little girl was sitting by herself. I didn't recognize the little girl until her mother came out from one of the inner exam rooms with my dog's mother and I realized they were the family from whom I got our puppy. But the interesting thing is that Bella (my dog) wasn't really all that interested in her own mother -- but very badly wanted to go play with the little girl.

A couple of years passed and one day when I was out walking Bella, we came across a man walking a beautiful black lab that looked very much like my own. The dogs acted frantic to see each other. We were both shocked by their behaviour and began to compare notes. Turns out the two dogs were litter mates.

Bella was extremely excited to see the little girl who used to play with her and her litter mate who used to play with her. But she just acted kind of "matter of fact" with her own mother - gave her a quick sniff and then turned away.

Maybe as species we humans do put way too much emphasis on the mother/child relationship. It is what it is ... not stuff of magic, myth, and movies. We deal with whatever cards we got dealt and have to be thankful for what we have without expecting it to be the "mother lode" of all things wonderful. :)

Purple Cow said...

Maybe Bella ignored her mother because she felt hurt and abandoned. Back in Australia I had a collie who I adored and who adored me. I abandoned him when I left and after a while he went to another home. When I visited him on a trip he didn't want to know me but was all friendly with my husband. I understood.

Actually, interesting that you should raise the issue of dogs as I see a lot of similarities with training dogs and disciplining children. (eg being firm, building trust, reward, encouragement etc).

Ro Magnolia said...

Yes, you'll have to read my blog entry from yesterday on that very subject! :)