May 10, 2008


If you look at the way my mom is regarding this butterfly, it is clear that she relishes it. Her gaze gives off celebration of and gratitude for something so small and inconsequential. The time my mom gives to take things in - to notice them - is distinctive. And I think this relishing of small things is a source of her love for children, for me and for my seven siblings. With children, my mom appropriated our tempos. She savored us as we were - all of us - at all of the corresponding and intersecting moments and speeds. And I think she was able to do this because of her ability to be grateful for the smallest happenings - little movements and actions that may be inconsequential, but which are not unimportant. I think many people do not have this ability.

For some, children are simply a narcissistic reflection of themselves - their desires, their hopes, their youth, their bargaining with time and death. But from my mom's gaze, there was always the clear and distinct knowledge that she was observing us, playing with us, illustrating things, for us. She was taking us in and relishing us at every turn as appreciation, as gratitude. The commonplace task was something unequivocally worth doing - something essential. Deeming us worth it all the time. From making homemade playdough to reading bedtime stories - we experienced someone who was thankful to be our mother and grateful to be herself - a profound and singular gift. I continually harvest the benefits. I love you my mom and I wish I were nearer to let you know that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We share some common memories and values because of our Moms. Mine had 9 children, (5 boys, 4 girls)and our family had a lot of get-togethers. Add the cousins, grandparents, everyone's boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. and many times, it was hard to find a place to sit!

One of the values that I now practice because of my mother was to save the insects. She would always trap the bees or spiders and release them back to the outdoors, reminding me that even the insect has a purpose. Now, my family always calls to me to do the same when they appear.

You've done a great job with your "Mom-homage" here. My mother also made us feel special in spite of the fact that there were 11 family members. That's no small task, and I continue to strive to learn from the many observations she had for things; not unlike your Mom's butterfly moment.

Thanks again for sharing.


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