Our mother’s laps and that universal longing

Over the weekend we housed 8 people in our tiny home for two nights.  Our friends Heather and Aaron came to stay with us over the weekend along with their sons, ages 2 and 3 months.

As you can imagine it was madness, life exploded all over the walls and floors of our home.  Luggage didn’t fit neatly into closets and Noelle kept trying to climb into the baby swing.  Friday’s breakfast dishes stayed where they were until we shoved them out of the way to make room for Pizza that evening.

Heather and Kasen

As we attempted to coax all four kids to sleep Heather stood in my kitchen nursing Kasen and singing him to sleep.  She opened with Somewhere Out There from American Tale and then transitioned perfectly into Somewhere over the rainbow.  He drifted off in her arms as I finished the dishes.

There is something about bearing witness to the intimate moments of a friend’s mothering journey that arrives as a special gift.  A baby nestled into his mother’s arms is a sacred and precious thing, don’t you think?

Suddenly, I found myself struck with a gut wrenching longing for my own Mother.  Desperate to feel that safety of being held and had by someone older and wiser than you.

Perhaps it just the wine or the exhausted bliss of 24 hours of all out community and village parenting, but I began to wax poetic about our communal inner need for mothers.

Is it just me or does every thirty-something still have moments where they want to crawl into their mom’s lap?  Where we long to escape the brutality of doing life on earth by retreating like a child?

Do we every outgrow this longing or are there eighty somethings out there who still yearn for mothers long lost ago to the other side?

Well I’m not sure it’s universal and I’m not sure that there is an age cut off but I can assure you that there are moments, days even when I miss my mother terribly.  This is positively confusing for me because I long for a woman I didn’t know very well, even though I spent a my lifetime with her.

I remember being held, read to, bathed and cared for when I was younger.  But I also recall the acute pain of watching that woman slip away, drown deeper and deeper into a sea of pain and depression.

my mother as a bride

Before I die I want to pull her back out and get to know her, be it only through memories and photographs.  Perhaps by considering the perspective behind the photos she took or the verses outlined in her bible.  By taking time to listen to the stories of those who knew her in the too brief “before” time.

Soon the calendar will flip another page and I will wade through what it feels like to mark two years since her death departure.

As each day passes I resolve myself to uncover the beauty of who she was and shout that from the rooftops, to create for her a legacy for that overshadows how she died and instead tells of the real woman underneath it all.

I can never climb up into the warmth of her lap again or beg her to rub my hair until I succumb to sleep.  But, perhaps there is still a chance to know her, to find her piece by piece… somehow.

  • http://gravatar.com/jennymsmith jennymsmith

    I am 33. Two weeks ago, I was extremely sick – pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infection in both ears. All I could think of was, “I want my Mommy.” Thankfully, she is still here for me to call her – and I did – and I asked her if she could bring me some of her special soup and come hold me. I told her I felt bad about asking, and her response was, “Oh honey – don’t feel bad. One day I won’t be here to do that for you. I wish I could call your Nana and ask her to come hold me at times, and I’m 64.” And feeling that way when I was sick doesn’t even scratch the surface of my need for her with emotional support. The thought of losing her – death happens to everyone – terrifies me. <3

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      I know that feeling, especially when you are sick and don’t be terrified, it will be a hard season but you will push through and God will sustain you. I mean I hope it’s 30 years off though!!

  • http://staceydaze.blogspot.com stacey

    I think that is an absolutely perfect idea. ((hugs)) Too often we allow one thing to define the people we know (or even those we love) when we are all so much more than that. Best wishes as you follow this path!

  • http://barnardrach.blogspot.com Rachel

    every stinkin’ day.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Yeah. That.

  • http://sistersunderthetrees.wordpress.com SFriant

    May the memories you have of comforta and joy fill your heart and lead you where you need to go. Blessings. Thank you for sharing, it helps me to be a better mom.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Thank you, I am so glad that this longing inspires mothers in the right now.