Mothers are the hands that hold us up until we learn to fly, and often those hands have a hard time letting go of us, the baby bird whose wings are strong enough to carry it now. They’ve held it up even when their arms shook, even when they wanted nothing more than to throw down this tremendous burden and run away. – Emma Tobin
Better late than never as the saying goes! I had planned to share this with all the wonderful Mums I know on Mother’s Day. In Ireland we celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday 6 March. I know that in parts of the world, Mother’s Day falls much later in the year. So while this post was too late for Ireland, it might just be posted in plenty of time for mothers in other parts of the world.
This is a piece called ‘On Motherhood’ written by my wonderfully gifted daughter Emma. Emma was 17 when she wrote this about a year ago. It’s hard sometimes for me to comprehend that something as profound as this can come from someone so young. When I read this for the first time, I cried, and smiled, and I was left with feelings of immense pride for the woman she has become. This is for all the Mams.
On Motherhood – Emma Tobin
Mothers are the hands that hold us up until we learn to fly, and often those hands have a hard time letting go of us, the baby bird whose wings are strong enough to carry it now. They’ve held it up even when their arms shook, even when they wanted nothing more than to throw down this tremendous burden and run away.
Sooner or later, we all lose our mother, and it happens to some sooner than it happens to others. Some of have to learn to fly faster than others (and some of us never learn to fly), but a mother isn’t something that can be completely taken from us. Whether or not you believe that there is a chamber in our heart nobody talks about where those we love reside, there is a connection between a mother and her children that defies life and death and distance. Even when the umbilical cord is cut and even when we’re forced out of safety and into the infamously unfair world, we are always connected to our mother.
Even if we never get a chance to get to know this person we see reflected in our eyes and in the way we smile, our mother can never truly leave us so long as we are the person that she loves more than her own life. So long as we are the people she’s fighting Velociraptors for in her nightmares, then she is the one person who will love us even if the rest of the world knows that we’re a complete brat.
Unfortunately, we can’t control the way our mother feels, and we can’t control it if they don’t really live up to their title. Which is why we learn that the person whose uterus we inhabited isn’t always the person we call mother. People aren’t perfect, and not everyone is strong enough to be a mother. So don’t limit yourself to the belief that just because this person who gave you their genes doesn’t feel the way they should, that you don’t have someone you can call mother. Just like everyone has a soul mate, everyone has someone who is willing to give them a mother’s love. They can be hard to find, and sometimes we’re already flying before we realise who was holding us up the whole time.
Mother’s Day is a tribute to those who call themselves mothers, who have given everything again and again just to get us off the ground. They don’t get to stop holding us up, but they get to see us look down and notice that without them we’d be falling.
Don’t hold back, spare no expense, but always remember that it’s not about getting the right DVD, it’s about the expression of love that you show even in handing over the wrong DVD. A single day each year isn’t too much to ask for the lifetime of dedication that goes into having a child. This woman gave up so much so that you could be alive, and the fact that you’re here means that even if a certain accident happened prior to your birth, it became a gift the first time she looked into your eyes, or heard you laugh.
You can’t imagine the kind of love that consumes a mother when she sees her child for the first time. It trumps anything they’ve felt before; they look into your eyes and they’re scared because they know right in that moment that they’d die for you. Without hesitation, without a second thought, because nothing on this earth could hurt them more than losing you.
Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be elaborate, because you could give your mother anything under the sun and it would be worth nothing compared to what your life is worth to her.