Saturday, May 10, 2008

On Mothers

This mommy and her husband have garnered my awe:

and it gets better.

I picked this up while visiting Hot Air. AllahPundit had brought this to the page, with the videos, and the comments got me to really thinking about the attitudes folks have toward child-bearing and child-rearing, today. Some, like me, think it's pretty spiffy that a few people have the wherewithall to raise kids well and happy. Some others have downright offensive views, as far as I'm concerned:
In as much as you gotta respect that the man has stuck around and his 18 kids are all with the same momma, there’s just something about a couple that reproduces like their hobby is populating the Earth, when there are so many kids around the world who will not be eating tonight. Seems to me if they love kids so much, they can travel to Africa or Far East asia to pick up a few over there.
As if children were a commodity one could drop by one's favorite boutique for – that darling, fashionable one just like Brangelina's.

Raising kids with love and joy is a gift, and it's one which may enable those kids (or some just like them) to grow up to solve the political problems in Asia and Africa which leave so many children starving and desperate.

As the eve of Mother's Day grinds its way toward an end (all right, it's only about 3/4 through, right now), I find myself thinking about what it is to be a mother. By all biological rights, I can take that label for myself, but by all that is real, I can't. I can't even imagine what it is to be the woman who raises a child, sees to its needs, and receives its love in return. I have a good and active imagination, but it won't go there (probably for my own good. I have enough regrets already).

Still, I am ever-amazed by those who manage to do the thing I could not do, and raise a healthy child. The woman who took in and adopted my daughter has all my respect, as do my own mother, my sister, and my brugly other's wife.

My own mom had startling success – three out of four of us have a little chemical imbalance, and yet, three out of four have been successful in life, even by the standards of the general public. Then of course, there's me. But don't discount that, either. Mom managed to keep me together when nobody else could, back in the worst of my days (well, she had a little help from my seester, but then, where did she learn how to be stable?). She's propped me up when I've needed it, and somehow managed to keep a straight face when I was a complete idiot, so as to make me less embarrassed than usual at my own reflection. No small stuff.

Mothering is a rare gift. Good mothering is rarer still.

Illustration from Yourself and Your House Wonderful, by H. A. Guerber, Uplift Publishing, 1913

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