The Mother’s Secret

baby, motherhood, Happy Mother's DayOnce upon a time, a new being was pulled out of my belly, literally, and after a weighing and a cleaning, she was placed in my arms. I was awake and could feel nothing below my breasts. But my arms tingled with the weight of her, and my eyes watered with her beauty.

She didn’t cry, she mewed. She was the epitome of the lightness of being. Her little pink arms were held tightly up against her body, elbows bent, fists seeming to want to put themselves over her eyes, to block out the light and the noise and, I’m sure, the immense wonder of it all.caesarian birth, babies, birth

Two years later, I was back on that flat operating table, arms strapped down, eyes staring at the mirror above me. This baby inside me was big and bold. He was two weeks late, and he didn’t want to come out into the cold, cruel light of day for anything. I felt him holding onto the umbilical cord tightly, just daring the doctor to pull him out from the narrow incision below my belly button. Despite the spinal that numbed me from chest to toes, I could feel that tug of war, and for a while, I wondered who would win.

Then an aggrieved scream, and he was out, all muscle and sinew and fury. He stared at the doctor with intense bewilderment. What was this place and why the hell was he here? My heart swelled with his earnestness, and I knew my life would never be the same with his presence. His questions alone would keep me up late, never mind the two-hour feedings and later the teenage angst.

And now, once upon a time is 39 and 37 years later.

parrots, Hawaii, parenthoodThe secret? They are both exactly as they arrived. The girl is a beautiful mother and wife, a teacher, and the most generous light-hearted being I’ve ever known. But on tough days, she curls her arms up against herself, battling the world, always asking me to join in and help.

The boy is as tough and muscled as an oak. He can argue the bark off a tree. Yet, he’s as soft as a breeze with his three boys. Love is hidden deep inside his heart, but when he smiles, the world flip flops in joy.

parenthood, siblings, Happy Mother's Day“Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don’t mean a thing.” – Toni Morrison

139 thoughts on “The Mother’s Secret

  1. Pam, the two miracles in your life described with such love, warmth and tenderness … your capture their individual characteristics from the moment of birth! How true that the child within always lives on, only discernible to a close few. Your description of your son is pure poetry and I read the sentences many times: ‘ He can argue the bark off a tree. Yet, he’s as soft as a breeze with his three boys.’ A beautiful heartfelt post, Pam … my day starts with light and joy! ❤️

    Liked by 6 people

    • Many thanks, Jill. Hope you’re having a great weekend. Every morning I wake up and race to the window (this is at 5:30 a.m. – I know you get up early also) and sure enough a wee hummer is sipping at our feeder. What a way to start the day! ❤

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    • I released a happy smile when I read that you felt the love jump out of the page here. Thank you! And even better, that my words touched you as you considered your own children, and the journey you all have traveled. Isn’t is an amazing trip? ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful, loving, touching post, Pam. Lovely photos, too. Happy Mother’s Day!
    And the Toni Morrison quotation is true–my daughters are grown, but they’re still my children, and I think of them every day.

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  3. What a perfect Mother’s Day post, a heartfelt tribute to motherhood. We are truly blessed to be given the job of birthing, raising and loving our children. I love the Toni Morrison quote too. Happy Mother’s Day!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I jumped for joy when I found the Morrison quote. She confirms so perfectly what we all feel (but sometimes are too embarrassed to express). Our kids are always our “babies.” 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day, my friend.

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  4. Pam, you often light up the day with your writing. Today it shines with love
    and pride. In those two beautiful beings that are part of you.
    A daughter who is ‘the epitome of lightness of being’ and a son who is tough but also soft as a breeze.
    And of course they are always your kids. Mine are by their own admittance. 😊 .

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s rather nice when our kids admit that they can be no one else’s children but ours. Nurturing runs deep, and by that I mean no matter if a child is blood-born or adopted, what we nurture and love, we love into eternity.

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  5. You were obviously inspired by Mother’s Day approaching. Maybe the birth of royal Archie – – – Windsor this week played into the inspiration too. A lovely tribute to your kiddos. Your son bears a striking resemblance to mine, including the complexion.

    I loved reading this. Toni Morrison’s observation is so TRUE. Thanks, Pam!

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    • In some ways I’ve distained the idea of “Mother’s Day,” a kind of made-up Hallmark holiday. But then I realized, “why shouldn’t we celebrate mothers all over the world?” (And as mothers, how great to take a day aside and celebrate our love of mothering….” So, that said, Happy Mother’s Day, Marian!

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  6. They will always be our babies, no matter how old they get! My labor was 36 hours. She REALLY didn’t want to come out. And my husband delivered her after being my coach that entire time. (I think I told you he was a dr, right?) My husband always teases her on her birthday and says it is Mom’s Labor Day.. LOL!
    Happy Mother’s Day Pamela! ❤

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    • During the years of raising children, nothing seems poetic. But looking back after they’ve left the nest, it’s interesting how everything comes into place in rhyme and reason. ;-0 ❤ Thank you, Patricia.

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  7. Pam, I marvel at your skill of converting everyday stories into sublime moments…only women can understand those moments of exhilaration, a mother’s pride is an ultimate delight and you have woven those two emotions into such beautiful words that their glow is reaching me, warming my heart, transporting me back to the labor room where I spent 72 hours for bringing my first gem into this world. I opted for a C section for my second one – both proud mothers now. 🙂

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  8. So true – I love that Toni Morrison quote. Because, although we see our children as adults (or getting there), we also see them as they were as little ones. Because of that, we are often the ones who know them best. That’s what being a mother is all about. Great post.

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  9. So, nice to discover your blog. (Thank you for reading my Mother’s Day post.)Your description of birthing your children is lovely and fresh showing us that a mother never forgets the details of her child’s birth–no matter how many years pass. Thank you!

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    • In many ways the day that each of my children was born seems like a short time backwards, even thought it’s been years. I think because of the bond that is created as soon as that umbilical cord is cut. ❤

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  10. Hi Pam, I just met your blog through Donna (Retirement Reflections) and I am glad I did. I love this post! It made me laugh and cry. Very relatable. This is the first time I have read this specific quote from Toni Morrison. I will share it with my daughters – 38 and 35. They are also Mothers. Happy Mother’s Day to you:) Erica

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    • You and I have children much the same age. And all with their own kids. Yes, share the Morrison quote – I think I’ll share it with my kids too. They’re right in the center of raising young kids; it seems to them that their children will be young forever. But you and I know what really happens. I guess we can warn our “kids” what’s coming in the not too distant future. No matter, I know they’ll feel the same way we do now – our babies are always our “babies.” ❤

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  11. Happy Mother’s Day, Pam. I, too, have the joy of two children, a little older than yours, and the greatest thrill for me these days is watching them, as parents, experience the joy for themselves! It’s clear you have much to be proud of in your wonderful children. 🙂

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    • I would never guess that you have children who are even older than mine. When I tell people I just meet that I have kids in their mid-30s, I expect them to say “NO WAY you have kids that old.” But they never say that! To me, my kids should still be in their teens, or 20s at most. 🙂

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  12. Oh my gosh, what a very beautiful post. Filled my eyes. Blessed are they, and blessed are you. Love and life, such wild, wonderful, complex things – in essence all one – but each individual unique expression of life and love manifests that magic in its own way…whilst never losing connection, whether aware of it or otherwise, to the start, the source. Much love Pam, to you and your miracles… 🙂 xxxx

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  13. This might well be my favourite post of yours so far! So beautifully written with so much love and warmth. Here I am in the U.S. having time finally with my three now grown adult sons, and loving every second if it all and even here to celebrate Mother’s Day together ~ a rare treat. Just today I was looking at my sons and marvelling at the wonderful young men they have become and how very proud of them I am as clearly you are too of yours. Beautiful!

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have so enjoyed seeing the way you glow in the photos of you with your handsome sons (on Instagram). I think we moms shine our brightest when we’re around our grown-up “kids” and realize, “phew, wow, they turned out good.” 🙂 Many, many thanks for your comments here, Peta.

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  14. Beautifully said Pam…and so true. Your daughter looks exactly like you and your son could be that handsome pirate that we all are waiting for to take us away after dueling for our attention…Love the quote.

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