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It seems like a simple question with an obvious answer, but motherhood encompasses and embraces so much more than having, bearing, or adopting a child. As any parent knows when they stop before embarking upon the adventure (and those who are experience pregnant have nine months in which to contemplate the uncertainties of the future), motherhood is not something that starts one day, and ends 18 years later when the child is an adult and out on his or her own.
Motherhood is a lifetime state of existence, a day by day interaction with a child who, at the beginning, requires 24-hour concentrated care. While this is daunting, and obviously time consuming, when we stop worrying about all the things we should be getting done, or ought to be getting done, or are more significant in getting done, and concentrate on the sheer beauty and perfection of this amazing, innocent being, we take a step forward in our own life of wisdom and compassion.
Mothers, in many ways, reflect the love passage in 1 Corinthians 13 – though they do not feel that they are always patient, kind and long suffering, they do indeed always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere. In the artwork, Motherhood, a young woman holds her baby close, in many ways as Mary would have held the baby Jesus, wondering about the child’s future, hoping and praying that it is a good one, but knowing that she will be there, whenever and wherever she can, as the child grows.
Mothers are wise people in that they recognize the growth of the child, and step back as the baby becomes a toddler, the toddler a child, the child an adolescent, and the adolescent an adult. With each stage they step further in the background, but they are never gone. They are always there – always protecting, always trusting, always hoping, always persevering.
THAT is motherhood.
April 21st, 2017
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