Tuesday, May 14, 2013

an image of my motherhood

on the left is a necklace with two charms.  the square one in the back is a tiny golden engraved certificate commemorating our daughter's arrival over ten years ago.  my dear husband, her father, steve presented it to me on diana's first birthday, along with a heartfelt, beautiful note about his admiration of my strength and courage in delivering our baby into the outside world.

on the right is my birthing necklace for ander's emergence.  my dearest mama friends in st. louis participated in a blessingway ceremony for me at my request, replacing a more common baby shower, to help me prepare for his arrival.  mothers among my family and friends, both local and from away were asked to send a bead or charm or other special memento for a friend to collect and sew onto this ribbon.  i wore this necklace while i was in labor with ander, and steve and my doula read aloud to me the mothers' prayers and words of support written on a special banner.  when i needed to muster my energy, find my strength, and be fully present and engaged in the birth experience, i relied upon these touchstones to connect me to a sacred sisterhood of mothers.

i consider myself fortunate to have my children with me, seeing and touching and hearing and sensing their presence, ever the living reminders of my identity as a mother and permeating my very being with their intensities.  i also treasure these mementos of the process and path by which i became a mother.  they involve my children but only peripherally; these physical reminders are really about me.  they mark milestones and time periods of my life which have shaped me, irrevocably, into the being i am today.

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