We are in the midst of unpacking our newest residence. Most everything is still in boxes, except the kitchen. I have one more post I started from Montana, but need access to the photos to finish it. Today we will drive in to town, get cell phone coverage so we can call our moms and my man is going to take me out to dinner. So, I dug out the laptop to write this, a Mother’s Day aside.
:: This morning I opened a gift: the children’s book, “Mama Do You Love Me?” It’s about a daughter testing the boundaries of her mother’s love. Towards the end, she becomes a big polar bear and chases her mother into a tent (it’s an Alaskan Inuit family) and makes her mother cry. But of course, her mother knows it’s still her daughter in that polar bear body, and so she still loves her.
I read that book to Juniper this morning and it made me wonder, as a daughter, what skins I have donned myself. At 13, I am told, I was a stubborn, spitting camel. But I know I have also, at times, crawled inside the skin of a shark or a lion, just to see if I could draw blood.
:: Since Juniper’s birth I have been so overwhelmed by a basic, primal love. The type of love that cuts to the core. The kind of love that makes me realize I have the power to fend off a grizzly bear with my bare hands, if I had to. Mothers are the most frightening and unpredictable of creatures. Some are famous--mother moose and mother bear—for defending their young. But we all carry within us a power as boundless and immeasurable as the love we hold for our young.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that there will come a time when my own daughter will spit and claw and bite—she will test the strength of her jaw, the sharpness of her nails, the acidity of her words. And perhaps I will be bleary-eyed and battleworn, but I hope I can rise from the ashes of parenthood as gracefully as my own parents have.
Thank you to all my mothers and grandmothers and mothers-in-law and any other woman who has had to put up with any of my shit. Happy Mother’s Day : )