What makes a Mother?

I’ve been sitting here for about an hour pouring through the internet looking for some inspiration, as I’ve been dealing with some writer’s block issues lately.  After all of that, I came up with nothing. Zilch…zero…nada.

And then, I saw Older Son curl up on the couch with my afghan. I ran right over, smoothed it out and took this picture:

This rainbow afghan is one of my favorite things in the whole world. My Aunty B. made it for me as a gift for my tenth birthday, and I have hauled it around with me for the last 32 years, always making sure that it is left out on the couch or the bed for quick use. Just now are some of the threads beginning to let go, so I’ll have to take a hard look at it soon and make sure I get any loose ends tied up good and tight.

She’s been gone fifteen years now, but I hope that she still looks in on us once in a while and sees that this beloved item is still in use. I think it would make her happy to know that it held together so long and was used by my children, and will most likely be used by their children too.

Someone commented once that this particular afghan wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but they just didn’t have the right eyes with which to really see it.  Aunty B was quite a jack of all trades. She could do anything she put her mind to, and she was always the life of any gathering. Everything she made, she made with love. She was an amazing person who had a lot to give, and would have made a spectacular mother. Unfortunately she was unable to have children of her own, and that breaks my heart.

So, what makes a mother?

Usually it takes either a blood relationship between a woman and child, or a legal relationship. Some times people just step up and BE mothers, though. Some people come by it naturally, like Aunty B. She helped raise one of her husband’s nephews when his home life went sideways and he needed a place to live. My Dad spent many summers with Aunty B and her husband. By the time my brother and I came a long, she was a kind of grandma figure to us, but she didn’t treat us like we were grandchildren…she treated all kids like they we her own.

Some people, like me, have to work at being a mother. I wasn’t born with any maternal bones in my body…I had to build them from the ground up.  Aunty B didn’t have to work at it…she just always knew what to say and what to do. What a travesty that she wasn’t able to have her own children, especially when there are people in the world who get pregnant effortlessly and don’t care so much about their kids.

I write about Aunty B today, not because she was the only good example of motherhood I have in my life, but she is the one that finally woke up my Writing Muse today.  I am very fortunate to have many fine role models, starting with my own Mom, who taught me how to be fierce on my children’s behalf, and who always has a ready answer when I have questions about how to cook something. My Grandma G taught me all about baking, how to navigate family politics, and how to stay in touch. I could go on ad nauseam about all of the wonderful people in my life who present good motherhood role models. I’m thankful for them all.

To all of my 18 Faithful Readers who are mothers, I hope that you are as fortunate as I have been to have so many good role models for motherhood, and that you shine your light for the next generation to use as an example in their own lives. Happy Mother’s Day!

6 thoughts on “What makes a Mother?

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  1. Great post Sparrow! Happy belated Mothers day to you. Your boys are lucky to have you! 🙂

  2. If you only knew how much I followed your end statement the last few days. Trying to be a good role model, something they could grow from and pass down…it’s truly what we all do as mothers -it’s just sometimes without knowing it.

    Happy belated Mother’s Day to you too!

    Aimee (who happily appears to have internet again!)

  3. Happy Mother’s Day Sparrow … even if it’s a tad late. 🙂

    I’m sure your aunt looks in on all of you from time to time and knows you still use all that she gave you. She sounds like a wonderful woman and I think the afghan is beautiful! *hugs*

  4. …….and you know what little sparrow, I still turn quickly with teares in my eyes to your Mother when I need the mothering I need. She has been my friend, my sister, my mother. I love you both dearlly

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