Let Us Tell Stories of Mothers

Parents with toddler child, circa 1961.

Let us tell the stories of mothers… stories that could be true.

Let us tell of warm mothers, soft and round, likely to be found with flour on their nose, and always ready to pour you a glass of milk to go with the cookies on your plate. These mothers are increasingly rare.

Let us tell of mothers who are like bubbles of champagne: they surprise your senses, leave you giggly, but when you least expect it they erupt with an unexpected ‘pop.’

Stories that could be true.

Then there are grouchy mothers, stressed mothers, exhausted mothers, faces lined with worry and spirits tired and grey.

Other mothers are wise and reliable; not prone to many words or to a lot of noise — but you know that when you need them, they’ll be there.

Let us tell of fierce mothers, the ones who’ll love you even when you’re wrong.

Let us tell also of absent mothers, whose memory shimmers at the edges of your heart.

Let us tell of distant mothers . . . cruel mothers . . . loving mothers . . . giving mothers. There are walk-away mothers . . .save-the-world mothers . . . too-busy mothers . . . mothers you cry because you lost them, and mothers who make you cry because you can’t . . .

Stories that could be true.

May we hold in our hearts the mothers we have known; those who loved us—and those who tried.

May we forgive the mothers who didn’t get it right, and try to release the knots of disappointment . . . anger . . . grief . . . pain.

May we hold in our hearts the truth that mothering—nurturing—is a task that belongs to us all.

However old or young you are, whatever your gender, may you make extra room for nurturing in your life this week.

May you say something real to a harried store clerk, give a co-worker a genuine compliment, take time to listen deeply to a friend.

In our shared silence may we remember, and reflect, and create anew, the stories of love and nurture, from this point forward, stories that can be true.