A Mother’s Love

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The bond is formed the instant she realizes something strangely wonderful is happening. Her hopes are confirmed with the news that she has conceived. She is about to experience the miraculous cycle of life-a new life created in love is developing inside her womb and the countdown begins to the day when she will first see his eyes. Already she is protective-already, there is no son like the one she’s about to bear. The blessed day of his introduction to the world arrives and he is placed upon her stomach for the first time. His appearance, his perfection, his cries instantly remove all residual pain that accompanied his entrance-she is in love with this wonder from God.

Through the early months the bond grows as this miracle receives from her breasts. Every day brings something new.  As she holds him she can see how he fixes his eyes on hers, how he studies her expressions and listens to her sounds of love, until that one special day, when all the cute baby gibberish yields to that first recognizable word-Mama! Her name formed in his tiny mouth brings with it a level of euphoria that only a mother can fully appreciate. He recognizes and accepts this unconditional love he is receiving from this lady and has given it a title-Mama. She feels a blessing words can’t adequately express.

Soon the dependence from limited mobility gives way to the first steps. She feels pride and yet another strange feeling-the birth of worry. Now she has to watch over him with more diligence and remove any obstacle that might bring him harm, a task that from that day forward will never end. She is now his protector-a guardian against anyone and anything that might cause her son harm, a task she undertakes ferociously.

He is now a young free spirit, active, fearless, experimenting.  The day comes when the father removes the training wheels from his first bike, expecting a fall or two, a possible abrasion and maybe even a little blood-a learning curve that must be met. She is not ready for this day and wants to follow closely to catch him when he falls and save him from the pain, but the father holds her back-it must be done if he is to learn. He falls, looks immediately to his mom but gets back on the bike and takes off. The bond grows some more.

They spend the days dancing in the kitchen, working in the garden, shopping for groceries, playing in the park. He is her constant companion and joy and fills her days with laughter. She hardly notices his unkempt clothing, the dirt he drags onto the floor, the mess he leaves at the kitchen table-she sees an angel at play and finds great reward in being a witness to his every move, grateful for this time that just the two of them will share, and not fully appreciating how quickly it will pass. The bond grows.

As much as she wants to turn back time, she can’t and the first day of school arrives, way too early. With all the hesitation of a mother bird pushing her chicks out of the nest, she releases him to the world for the first time and plans nothing for the first few days so she can be waiting and relieved when he exits the school building, another aspect of her experience that will never entirely go away. She watches as he becomes a social being, making new connections but still heavily dependent on his mother’s bond, something he too will never fully outgrow.

She is there to witness the effects of his growth, with full knowledge of what’s to come, but like the removal of the training wheels, forced to watch it happen and be there for the scrapes. She prays for him and awaits the inevitable-the first fight, the first colorful words he learns, the first time he notices a girl, the first kiss, the first boyhood crush and the first heartbreak. Each time she is there with healing and comfort and protection-the bond grows.

The years seem like months as he receives his high school diploma and prepares for college life, most likely far away from home and from his mom for the first time. Nothing has prepared her for this day-the motherhood manual didn’t address this scenario and her faithful prayers are put to the test beyond what she was anticipating. She has dealt with colds and baby teeth, cuts and bruises, dates and broken hearts-she has never faced separation! He has always been the little boy placed on her stomach at birth, close, safe, dependent. She doesn’t like this feeling-it’s uncomfortable, but again a necessary part of the cycle of life. For perhaps the first time she feels unneeded. The best of marriage doesn’t fill her need to mother. She prays for his safety and her comfort.

Finally, he is home again, and with news-he has found love. She experiences another strange sensation. Joyful for his return but faced with the reality that she will have to share her son with another who will fill all the needs that until this time she has met. Again, she has to release him. At the wedding she is the honored guest of the groom. She has learned to accept her new daughter into her life-she hopes as a mom she has taken advantage of every opportunity to prepare her son for adulthood. She takes a quick mental survey to see if she left anything out. With the words “I do” she feels a sense of pride and accomplishment.

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She is not ready for the overwhelming flood of emotions as she gets another chance to dance with her son, now a man. He has become the embodiment of everything good she has instilled in him from the first day their eyes met. He holds her with a sense of love, appreciation and gratitude that only a son can fully express to his mom. The bond has outlasted every strain that was put on it-it is strong and tangible. The song can’t last long enough-she doesn’t want this moment in time to end-it is her reward and she is relishing in it with every note and every step. This is a mother’s love for her son in full manifestation. The bond is secure.

Love completes its cycle as news come that she is soon going to be a grandmother. The day comes when her grandson is placed in her lap for the very first time. The bond is formed.

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