Happy Generative Day
To all of you who are mothers, and/or have mothers, I wish you a wonderful celebratory weekend. So many of us think of Mother’s Day as just another Hallmark moment. I’d like to think of it as more. I neither have parents nor children, presently. (I did have parents at one point; but they’ve passed from this earthly existence. I didn’t want you to think I’d sprung, fully formed, from Pluto, or somewhere. 🙂 Although there are those that wonder…) I therefore don’t have to deal with which cards and/or gifts to obtain—something I’ve never been very good at, but I can get a bit pensive this time of year. Not because I miss my own mother (I’m not saying I don’t) but because I notice things like all the emotional energy people put into this holiday, and it seems a combination of love and guilt; of joy and thankfulness coupled with vague uneasiness. And why is this?
Let’s face it, many of us have mixed feelings about our mothers. Parenting remains the most important job on the planet (in my opinion) and, at this point in our social evolution, the brunt of that job still falls on the mothers, in most cases. There has never, in the history of our world, been one mother who has dealt perfectly with all her issues before giving birth or adopting. Therefore, the newborn; child; teenager; young adult that’s produced will, of necessity, absorb some maternal angst no matter how good the intentions of the parent. The kind and intensity of the manifestation of this varies from family to family, but there’s a quote I like: “You start to worry about your children from the moment they are born (sometimes before), and the newborn, still so connected to the spirit world picks up on that right away, and tells her/himself that they must have come to a place where worry is important.”
Of course, if it’s a good, loving, family, they come to a place of joy and love and nurturing, too. I think where it gets confusing for both the parent and the child is that mixed up someplace in all this is the notion that “to love is to worry about”. Parents want to protect their children from perceived danger, and in so doing, tend to overlook the apparent fact that the child, if left to her/his own devices, without the burden of the “worry” will make many choices appropriate for her/him.
My belief system includes a doozie: that children come into this world knowing who they are; knowing they have a connection to all that is, and with a full set of expectations about what they’d like to accomplish while here. I know many mothers—and fathers, too, who encourage self-exploration in their children. This is the best kind of parenting, and I salute it.