Mother and Child

Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, step-mothers, godmothers and caring mother figures. Happy Mother's Day to my own beautiful, spirited mother. Happy Mother's Day to me.

Whistler's watercolor from the Victoria & Albert Museum depicts one of the things I love most about being a mother:  that little body curling into mine for a perfect fit. The instant a child calms when they are in your arms, their whole being relaxing into you. You make them feel safe, they make you feel calm. Snuggling is the meditation of motherhood.

Enjoy this day. Enjoy all the days.


There are Times in Life When One Does the Right Thing

There are times in life when one does the right thing
the thing one will not regret,
when the child wakes crying "mama," late
as you are about to close your book and sleep
and she will not be comforted back to her crib,
she points you out of her room, into yours,
you tell her, "I was just reading here in bed,"
she says, "read a book," you explain it's not a children's book
but you sit with her anyway, she lays her head on your breast,
one-handed, you hold your small book, silently read,
resting it on the bed to turn pages
and she, thumb in mouth, closes her eyes, drifts,
not asleep when you look down at her, her lids open,
and once you try to carry her back
but she cries, so you return to your bed again and book,
and the way a warmer air will replace a cooler with a slight
shift of wind, or swimming, entering a mild current, you
enter this pleasure, the quiet book, your daughter in your lap,
an articulate person now, able to converse, yet still
her cry is for you, her comfort in you,
it is your breast she lays her head upon,
you are lovers, asking nothing but this bodily presence.
She hovers between sleep, you read your book,
you give yourself this hour, sweet and quiet beyond flowers
beyond lilies of the valley and lilacs even, the smell of her breath,
the warm damp between her head and your breast. Past midnight
she blinks her eyes, wiggles toward a familiar position,
utters one word, "sleeping." You carry her swiftly into her crib,
cover her, close the door halfway, and it is this sense of Tightness,
that something has been healed, something
you will never know, will never have to know.

~ Ellen Bass, from Our Stunning Harvest

Sarah Burns