Motherhood was baking pies, and the books she would read. And the way I could melt into her chest warm with a hug. The way her shoulder smelled next to her hair, and the look in her eyes when I would come up for air.
And I thought I would never be a mother because I could not bake pies, I didn’t even want to. But I read them books like a lifeline. I doubt I am as soft or warm or that I smell as good, but I give them words on pages, floating through the air, and I turn the pictures for them to see just as she did. Now she and I pretend to argue and dance in the kitchen, all grown up we are.
She holds all of her children and I do not. Sometimes it feels it’s because she knows more of mothering than I do. But what of all the mothers that have never held a single child to call their own?
Each of us, we women, hold the seeds of life inside. We are gardens and we are wombs. We are a gathering round the table. We are more than cooks and chauffeurs, we are more than empty arms. We are a giving of life, each in our own way, made by our maker to be a sacred place in time and space that life flows through. In blood and pain, loss and disappointment, still we dig our hands deep into the earth and somehow beyond us and through us comes life. All we can ever do is be the shoulder that their heads lay against when the day is long, the words floating off pages, the nourishment and laughter over plates full, the warm place when night falls quiet.