Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I met some family members I’d not previously had the pleasure. They were cousins of my husband, and their daughter. I grew up knowing my own maternal grandparents & one aunt, but I wouldn’t say I was close to them. It’s always a little strange to realize my husband’s family is fairly sane and quite genuinely lovely.

What really struck me on the way home from our lunch was how quickly it became solid fact that these people are more to me than others I’d known for just as long.

beep beep

Their daughter had emergency surgery recently for an appendicitis. Her parents and grandparents took turns traveling here to help her (she is in college here and has no family in the city, except for us. We actually live quite close.) Toward the end of the lunch I felt compelled to give her our phone numbers and address. While she was a very sweet girl, studying interior design (how fun!), she is a lot younger than us and I can’t see that she would want to hang out with us tired parents of a toddler. I gave her our info for another reason. I was worried for her. I felt this maternal need to let her know that family was near, and could be counted on if she needed anything.

beep beep beep

I felt protective. Some of the trappings of motherhood I suppose. But again, I marvel at how fast a connection like that can be made between my mama bear persona and a person I’ve known for an hour. The question that always pops into mind is “why?” Is there some genetic switch that gets turned on when a relative is proximate (even a relation by marriage alone)? Is it that she is near and dear to people who are near and dear to me? Is it just that when you become a mother you become a mother in greater sense of the word? Do you become a mama in general and not just in relation to your own child. Do I? Did I?

As usual, it’s probably a mix of all of the above. I like that. A lovely caldron of witchy brew. And I like this confidence that comes with mothering the world. I’ve stepped one step closer to a fuller presence of being, I think.

a wrinkle in the sky

If today could have spoken to me, it would have said,   

love freely

(Taken from Shutter Sisters.)


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Oh, Rachel. How this post speaks to me. As an adoptive mom to a daughter now a teen, and step-mom to 3 step-daughters who I love more then ever, I can so relate to that of which you speak. Being a woman who cannot conceive I never thought I would have children - NEVER adopted kids or step-kids. But I loved them all immediately, without question, and forever. I know what you mean, completely. My kindred spirit of the NW, I send you regards from the SE.

kendalee said...

What a lovely post Rachel! And what a lovely place to find in your heart, whatever triggered it. I don't have children of my own but I know that when I met my nephews and niece a space expanded in me so wide and so deep that I had no notion of existing before. Why these children especially? Undoubtedly it has something to do with them being the children of my beloved sister but that alone doesn't explain it. Whatever it is, I just embrace it. And your heart clearly has too.

Also, love the scooter shots!

Anonymous said...

Rachel, What a wonderful site. I was deeply touched that you have such wonderful feelings for our daughter and your niece. I look forward to our next visit. Love, Lana

melissa said...