Lately I find myself using the word, "mother," more as a verb than as a noun. As I get to witness my own fur kids nurture my frail mother, I am filled with pride- pride as a daughter, as a 'mother,' and much more... well, see for yourself...
Not long ago. I made the decision to relocate in order to care for my aging mother. It was time for me to 'mother' my own mother. In the process of doing so, some very remarkable things happened...
I immediately met my best friend- who is now my husband. And together with our multiple fur children, my own human mother, and a steady stream of visiting friends and family, we have created a loving home that itself, is nurturing in a 'mothering' sort of way. I feel a sense of gratitude to my mother for this.
So it makes sense that this Mother's Day has me reflecting a great deal upon the idea of what it means to both be 'mothered' and to 'mother', in the verb sense of the word.
I have a renewed sense of how life can come full circle. In the process of caring for my own mom, I have also been 'mothered' in a new way. And my own adopted fur kids-whose needs I have tended to- are now providing their brand of nurturing for my mother in her time of need. It is heartening to see- and needless to say, I'm filled with motherly pride.
I could go on and on. I've learned so much from my ever-evolving version of motherhood-both from my own mom and from my fur kids. There is something quite liberating in the act of 'mothering.'
As so many of us fur-mom's know, the wonderful ability to nurture is not limited by biology or membership in a specific species. We have all heard the tales of a needy or orphaned animal being taken into the care of a mother from another species. Whether it's a piglet joining a litter of puppies, a chicken providing warmth to a kitten- the life affirming inclination to 'mother' one in need, extends itself across species, race, ethnicity, age and more. Adopting a companion animal who needs our love and care is it's own wonderful version of 'mothering.'
I'd also like to point out that offering care and nurturing is not the purview of females exclusively. I get to witness my husband extend love and warmth to my mother and to our fur kids on a daily basis - not to mention, the ways in which he supports and nurtures me in the midst of our myriad responsibilities. He is a source of both strength and nurturing for all of us.
So, suffice it to say that the very wise Ms. Mother Nature, does not concern herself with the details of one's genetics, gender, race, age, species- or other such 'differences'- when it comes to empowering her 'children' with the capacity to 'nurture.'
Thanks to all of you for indulging my own, rather long-winded, way of honoring this Mother's Day and it's meaning for me... as both a verb and as a noun.
Happy Mothering to you and yours.
Dr. Pia Salk