Tuesday Quotes: A Belated Mother’s Day Tribute

15 05 2012

By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo

It says something about my relationship with my Mother that it never occurred to me to write a Mother’s Day post. If you’re interested, I wrote a detailed comment to Caitlin Kelly’s Mother’s Day post. I won’t rehash that here, except to say that today my relationship with my Mother is the best it’s been since I was three.

The following quote was originally part of a 1991-92 Smithsonian article about some kind of seals. I’ll never forget my reaction when I read it, for I cried. At the time my relationship with my mother was bloody awful, and it got worse before it got better. I yearned for the kind of oneness with a nurturing, accepting mother, the kind that the mother seal demonstrated.

Of course, no one has that kind of mother. And the mother seal? The sceptic/realist in me knows anthropomorphism when she sees it. But that need, that desire, is the root of much religious thought: the Loving Father, the Divine Mother.

In the end, psychologists say that the only way to truly get that love is to give it to yourself. That’s a difficult thing to accomplish, when you don’t have good role models. But perhaps, just perhaps, the mother seal can step in to that role. After all, there’s a reason why I thought of this quote today (I’m writing on Mother’s Day), isn’t there?

 

“The pup stayed under its mothers chin, rolled onto its back again and gave her face a flippered embrace. Then its little mouth and white lips came ajar, curling into a self-satisfied smile, and enigmatic smirk that revealed its pink mouth and throat. The mother’s lidded eyes drooped; she looked blissfully mindless. What I saw in the dreamy pleasure of the pup and the fierce, tender affections of the mother was a glimpse of absolute contentment.”

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4 responses

15 05 2012
Lorinda J. Taylor

FYI, Julia, if you like books with themes about the female principle and about mothers, you would undoubtedly like my “Termite Queen.” But I doubt seriously that you ever have time to read, considering everything you say you’re involved in, so I’ll forgive you if you don’t read it! You could sample it, though – either through Smashwords’ sampling setup or by trying some of the 13 chapters posted on my blog.

15 05 2012
Julia Indigo

Thanks for the suggestion, Lorinda. I’m sure that I will be reading your book eventually – it sounds fascinating!

15 05 2012
Ginny Bales

I have experienced that sometimes ferocious, sometimes dreamy enjoyment of my relationship with my child. I didn’t expect to enjoy being a mother nearly this much and although I felt loved as a child, I hadn’t seen my parents really enjoying having my brothers and me all that much. I know my parents felt very loved as children, but their parents were not exactly “gush-y” about it. Those were very different eras and my relatives had different styles of parenting from what I did with my own child.

I did a great deal of counseling and processing of issues from my own past before having my son and was a much better mother than I would have been otherwise. I probably wouldn’t have been awful in any case, but I was so much better able to recognize the bright, happy spirit of my son and to behave in ways that never squelched him. I saw at every point how smart and cooperative he naturally was. As a result, we never had many problems that I have seen others have. The twos weren’t terrible and adolescence was not filled with conflict either.

All of us come into this world as babies with the expectation that someone will be there and will recognize our essential nature and will love us wholeheartedly and find us irresistible and delightful. I have been very blessed in being utterly delighted with my son. I would wish for any parent to have as happy an experience with their child as I have had. It has been wonderful to see him become a man who thinks very well about people and situations, has great friends, and works productively. It is remarkable to see how little wasted motion there is in his life, since he is not having to overcome unhappy events from his past… He came into this world with good stuff to begin with (for which I thank G-d daily), but we didn’t mess him up or make his path more difficult.

15 05 2012
Julia Indigo

What a lucky young man he is!
I don’t think that previous generations had any idea of what you are talking about above – at least, very few people did.

What a lucky young man.

And thanks for the comment, Ginny! 😀

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