Family lines are typically thought of as a male-centric concept. Becoming a mother myself has made me wonder if a more matriarchal spin is a better fit for this notion. The umbilical cord might be the most literal illustration we have.
“The mother makes the mood.”
“Happy wife, happy life.”
“Dad, can I ______?” “Go ask your mother.”
Every family is different. And I certainly don’t mean to imply fathers aren’t every bit as important as mothers. Both my father and my husband are tremendous examples of this. But for right now, for this day, it’s the moms. It’s my mom.
I’ve always had an incredibly close relationship with my mom. From day one she has always been my best friend and closest confidant. While as I grew up that circle expanded to include my husband and a special few ladies, my mom was the first. We are made of the same stuff, her and me. Whatever fabric it is that makes up our insides, we have been cut from the same cloth. I admittedly have a lot of privilege in my life and it is my hope that more often than not I use that privilege to the benefit of others. My mom is one of my most sacred and blessed privileges.
Despite sharing strikingly similar minds and hearts (with a few notable differences, because that’s where the fun lies), we have had vastly different experiences — especially in motherhood. The resources I have at my disposal are many and she had close to none. Motherhood is hard. Period. But it would be naive of me not to understand that for some it is much harder. My mom has struggled through much of her life and overcome a great many challenges. She has a story to tell and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to get her to tell it in full. I hope she does one day; I think it would change many people’s lives as well as her own.
She is fifty now (and I am twenty-five and Rosalyn is zero — I love this) and I feel as though this is a defining year in her life, a second life even. I’ve watched her catch a new breath as she stepped away from abusive friendships, left a thankless & exhausting job to try on a new industry, and immersed herself in the role of Nana. She is completely head over heels for her granddaughter.
It is obvious that my mother loves her children, loves being a mother. It is (one of the things) she was meant to do on this Earth. But I also know it was hard. Incredibly hard. She has worked hard mothering and continues to do so every day. It is my hope that as she turns this corner she is able to breathe a little easier, do a little less, relish a little more, and enjoy the fruits of her labor. The glittering thread of her family line.
In the words of Rosalyn Virginia’s beloved, late namesake Virginia Annette, “Don’t work too hard, Sharon.”