Since I’m only a son, grandson, great-grandson, father and grandfather [no “greats” there yet, though our grandkids are great], I don’t know that I’m particularly qualified to write about being a mother. But I’ll do my best.
A young woman once apologetically told me that she didn’t work outside the home, that she was “just a mother.” At once, I told her that no woman was “just” a mother.
A mother is the first, and the most important, part of a baby’s life. One of the very first things the little one must be conscious of is the nearby heartbeat of that one whose very body is involved in nurturing and protecting this new life within it. Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. The rhythm of life. For nine months, that sound is the background of existence, the assurance that all is well.
Then comes the trauma of birth – for both the mother and the child.
For Mom, “Whew, I’m glad that’s over!” – though it’s really only a new beginning. For the child….
I had a good friend in college whose home in another state I would sometimes go with him to visit. One time in particular I remember. I slept in a room where the air-conditioner perched in a window. This visit my friend’s folks turned it on. Summer can be hot in Tennessee. The conditioner was noisy, and I didn’t sleep very well. Then morning came, and they turned it off. That’s what really woke me – that deafening silence.
I wonder if that’s what it’s like for a newborn. All kinds of new stimuli to be sure, new environment, lights, sounds, and yet…
Where’s the heartbeat?
I wonder what the newborn feels? Loss? Confusion? Panic? The one constant of the old life is gone. There’s no connection with this new life. There’s nothing for the baby to hold on, so to speak. How does he or she feel at this turn of events?
the baby is given to the mother and she cuddles him close.
Ah! The baby relaxes; there’s the heartbeat. There’s the connection.
Do you know why mothers are so special? It’s their heartbeat….
Their love, their care, their concern. Their “thereness”.
If things go as they should, there will be other “connections” made in life: dad, perhaps brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa, friends, a special “other” down the line, children of their own….
But it all starts with a mother’s heartbeat.
NOTE: I’ve published this post before. It’s slightly edited from having been done before, but it’s still relevant. My own mom would have been 100.
Happy Mother’s Day, all you moms out there. We’ll never know how much we owe you.