By Ron Cook

Yes, Mother’s Day was in May, two months ago, yet here is a subject worth reflecting on anytime. The heroic deeds mothers do are often ordinary, sometimes spectacular, but always life changing. What makes a person a mother? When does that change occur when a woman transforms into a mother? Do women who do not bear children become mothers? Who else can become a mother? These are the questions I have today.

This topic popped into my head this Spring when my granddaughter gave birth to my first great grandson, Ben. She was surrounded by family as she brought Ben into the world. She chose to make many changes in her lifestyle while she was pregnant. She tells me she became fully aware that she was a mother when they placed Ben on her chest for the first time. Everything up to that time was a change … a growth … a “becoming,” but that first physical touch brought with it the first full infusion of motherhood. I have seen her now, as a mother, and have noted how she has a new super-consciousness about her child and everything around him. As I reflect on my own mother, my daughters, and many other young mothers I have known, I recall how they all seemed to develop this third-eye, or new psychic bond with their children. This seems to be a bond that is grown from within the woman, then extended out into the world in the child. This tuning into the needs, cries and joys of the child seems to permeate the mother-child relationship for life. My adult sister still has an ethereal connection with her grown sons no matter where they might be in their lives. She senses how they are doing wherever they are, and wonders how they are feeling, growing and becoming.

Is this a series of instincts that are created in the birthing of a child, or are these innate traits that all women possess? I wonder … I have known many women who have never born children yet have these same psychic-mothering connections with family, friends and other children that have sought them out. I have seen these kinds of connections with women and animals, plants and hobbies. This kind of caring-about-details quality seems to be a strong trait in many women I have known.

Can a man have these characteristics? Sometimes I wonder about that. Men do not have the biological ability to bear children, but do they have the other instinct to care about details like a mother seems to develop? I think a little crossover does occur, yet there also seems to be a distinct difference in this area. Biology seems to get to the basic underlying “otherness” that distinguishes men and women in this area. The difference can then be thought of as a “distinguished” quality – having great yet different importance. Great marriages and relationships seem to highlight the support of these differences in mothering and fathering.

In Louisiana, I got to meet many families where the mothering and fathering was celebrated to the great joy and example for the children, pets, plants and the lives of those around them. Love is a sacrifice of self that covers life like water flowing over everything seeking the lowest places to fill. Mothering of many kinds fills the simple places in our lives that need that nourishment to grow. Thank the mother who fed you, bathed you in the sink, changed your shooky pants, made you do your homework and brush your teeth. Thank the mother in you that cares for others whether they are children, pets, plants, home, the elderly, or anyone in need of your mothering water …

Here is a Tribute to the Strength and Support that we have all felt from the Love of our Mother …

Before the Hero

We hail the conquering hero,
We hail the reigning son,
We hail who wields the power,
When victory has been won.

But never has a hero,
From out his own life sprung,
For each has had a mother,
Who rocked his cradle some.

He had a tender caring,
That gave his strength its birth,
He had a gentle rearing,
That gave his muscles girth.

He had a love that raised him,
He had a mother’s eye,
That watched his every movement,
And guided oft his mind.

And so, the reigning hero,
Forgets not whence he came,
He celebrates his mother,
In every triumph gained.

Ron Cook

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