What it Means to be a Mother

Brantley, Grayson, Ben, and my sweet niece Sally Kate at the beach last month


One of my worst fears (if not the worst) is dying before my children are grown.  It’s not the fear of dying, so much as it’s imagining how hard it would be on Brantley, Grayson, and Ben to grow up without a mother.  How painful that would be to not have mom around during the most influential time in their entire life.  So when I was reading one of my very favorite blogs the other day, Cup of Jo, and her post about the most beautiful things she had ever read, I came across this passage that one of her other readers had posted in her comments, and was brought to tears:


‘I never had any questions except the one about the moment when I could die. I should have chosen the moment before the arrival of my children, for since then I’ve lost the option of dying. The sharp smell of their sun-baked hair, the smell of sweat on their backs when they wake from a nightmare, the dusty smell of their hands when they leave a classroom, meant that I have to live, to be dazzled by the shadow of their eyelashes, moved by a snowflake, bowled over by a tear on their cheek. My children have given me the exclusive power to blow on a wound to make the pain disappear, to understand words unpronounced, to possess the universal truth, to be a fairy. A fairy smitten with the way they smell.

-From Ru by Kim Thuy.


Isn’t that so beautiful?  And isn’t it so true, and something that you, yourself, as a mother, have thought?  It’s just like I can’t possibly die, because to me, my children are magic, and I the same to them.  I simply can’t miss out on witnessing those simple everyday miracles.  We just couldn’t possibly live without each other.  I can’t miss a thing, and they can’t either.  It is both so lovely and so heartbreaking at the same time.  But, wow, isn’t that just what it is to be a mother?


I would really love to hear your favorite passage about motherhood- heavy-hitting or light-hearted.  Please feel free to share!  Plus, I’m just a quote junkie and love adding new ones to my list!

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