“Women who bear the weight of opposition, she wrote, create a shelter for the rest of us.”
- Sue Monk Kidd, Traveling With Pomegranates
More than any other woman I know, my mom has fought hard all her life to create a shelter for the rest of us. She birthed five children all her own (mostly without medication, one who came out ass-first) and raised us all to be upstanding, moral citizens with proper grammar. Time will tell if she can claim to have raised five college graduates, but the baby just aced his Calc 3 midterm, so nobody’s worried.
If you’ve ever met her, you know my mom really enjoys taking care of people. She loves having guests at her house, feeding them, making sure they’re comfortable. She’s been known to exchange her own relaxation and peace of mind for the comfort and care of others. And one thing I’ve never doubted for my whole life: that my mom would do just about anything to take the weight of whatever opposition came my way - physical, emotional, spiritual - in order to create a shelter for me. She’s a fierce mama bear in the truest sense.
When my sister’s baby was born last month, my mom was the most excited. So excited, in fact, that she left her feet momentarily in the hospital parking lot because a) it was icy and b) she was in such a hurry to get inside. We didn’t know whether the baby was a boy or a girl until she was born, and my sister and brother-in-law chose to name little Vera after my maternal grandmother. My mom lost it as she told us the baby’s birthday was also the anniversary of my grandma’s death. It was one of the most special things I’ve ever witnessed.
So when my dad asked if I could make dessert for my mom's birthday dinner last weekend, I knew a special pie was in order. (I bought a ravioli stamp recently after reading this post, in hopes that it would solve the age-old mystery of filling:crust ratio in a hand pie. It did not, but no one complained.) I wanted my mom to feel special and celebrated, to feel appreciated for all the ways she's worked to shelter me for my whole life.
Here's to you, mama. I'm glad you were born.