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.
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.
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.
If today could have spoken to me, it would have said,
(Taken from Shutter Sisters.)