Wise Words Wednesday: Understanding My Mother and Myself as a Mother

My sister with her second-born daughter. (My children were born before the advent of the digital camera.)

“A mother’s love for her children, even her inability to let them be, is because she is under a painful law that the life that passed through her must be brought to fruition. Even when she swallows it whole she is only acting like any frightened mother cat eating its young to keep it safe. It is not easy to give closeness and freedom, safety plus danger.

No matter how old a mother is she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement. It could not be otherwise for she is impelled to know that the seeds of value sown in her have been winnowed. She never outgrows the burden of love, and to the end she carries the weight of hope for those she bore. Oddly, very oddly, she is forever surprised and even faintly wronged that her sons and daughters are just people, for many mothers hope and half expect that their newborn child will make the world better, will somehow be a redeemer.”
–Florida Scott-Maxwell, The Measure of My Days, pg. 16-17

I don’t know much about the author of this quote, but what I do know leads to me to believe we would have had little in common. However, I find much here that feels familiar, although I do try to rise above my feline tendencies.

What surprises you about motherhood? Do you have feelings you did not expect to have? How have your feelings changed as your children grow?

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