MMs: Chicken Soup, Mothering and Perspective

Motherhood Monday's reflection:

Yesterday was Mother's Day and it was the first one that I've had that I actually just wanted to BE with my kids, rather than get a break from them (perspective: I've only had 4 Mother's Days). I'm telling you, this ooey-gooey mommy stuff doesn't come naturally to me.  But then again...maybe it does.

See, someone once told me that I was created to "mother". My reaction then (as a single, don't-want-to-get-married, I'm-going-to-die-in-a-3rd-world-country-changing-the-world 19 year old) was to roll my eyes. But now, I'm starting believe them. Like really, deep down in my gut believe them. Before we get all feminist/don't-you-dare-put-me-in-a-box-I-am-LIBERATED in our reactions....let me 'splain. (did you hear my Cuban accent there? Okay, sorry.)

I had a great dad, but what I want to focus on is that I - in all earnestness - was "mothered" well. Here's the kicker: not just by my biological mom, as great as she is. I was "mothered" by my sister who is 12 years older than me. I was "mothered" by my best friend's mom who would always take me in whenever I got into a fight with my parents during those tumultuous teenage years. I was "mothered" by that sweet pastor's wife who helped me navigate the new world of my faith in the 90's.

I'm still being mothered...even as I am feeling awkward learning how to raise these two little girls that call me "Mommy".

Looking back on my short stint in adulthood, I've realized I have actually been mothering for longer than I have had children. It just comes out - I don't think we do it on purpose. (how weird and insincere would that be - gross.)  I think it's a shame when women in our communities go against that impulse and squash the potential they have in them to love, care for, help guide and celebrate the people around them. It's not a checklist thing to do. God knows I HATE that whole condemning idea! It's something that if I just allow to happen, it blossoms like a beautiful flower that would make the Macy's flower show jealous.
It's a beautiful gift, this ability to "mother".  I have a tendency to analyse myself and I've realized that my "mothering" gears are turning when I offer someone chicken soup.  Cliche'?...yeah, a little. But before I can even think about something else more creative/original to say, the words are coming out of my mouth, "Can I make you some chicken soup? Do you want to just lay on my couch and rest?...are you okay with my home being a wreck right now?" 

It's the same, very sincere, schpeel I give to all of the people I love when I know they are hurting or feeling lonely, or just need some lovin'. Just today a friend of mine text me, saying she had gotten a head injury at work and needed some staples (ouch!). She was waiting in the ER alone. I looked at my clingy, whiney toddlers and pictured what chaos they could cause in an over-crowded NYC emergency room, and laughed at how entertaining that could be for my friend. So I texted her back, "Which hosp.? We'll be right over! Want me to bring some soup?"  Now, is this because I have a "super-hero" complex? no. (puh-leeeease.) Is it because I'm a "nice" person. (...don't I WISH. ha.)  It's simply that instinct that is deep down inside all of us - all we have to do is let it out.

I didn't end up going to the hospital, but my friend did come over afterwards. We laughed and talked and lounged around watching Dancing with the Stars. Our bellies were full of homemade chicken and black bean soup.

We have opportunities all around us to "mother" - to make the world more rich, healthy, and complete. We can't let "Mother's Day" be only about people with biological children (although we ALL know they deserve some hefty accolades and ...well at least a lifetime supply of Moose Tracks ice cream.)  Women that are mothering, single/married/those with biological kids or not - you make this planet a beautiful place to live in.

Thank you for letting your gift out for others to be nourished by it.

Enjoy the somewhat related video from an organization near and dear to my heart:


sashval said...

Love your blog!! We are going to share your post chicken soup,mothering and perspective tomorrow at our Mops group. Excited for the other ladies to hear this post. I think it was great.

Evita Gahagan said...

aw thanks! Hope all is well with you guys!

Michelle from Six in the City said...

What a beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

Evita, I love your style! I, too, had that gut reaction of not having kids equating to gender equity. Two beautiful babies later, I'm so happy I have them! I'd love to link to your blog, if that's okay! :)

Evita Gahagan said...

sure thing! and welcome to NYC - my absolute favorite city in North America.