I remember a friend once came and did gentle, soothing bodywork on me after a debilitating car accident and in those two hours, I felt deeply mothered - held emotionally, cared for, unguarded, relaxed and embarrassed about nothing.
Being mothered is in the small things, too. When my partner softens his face and rubs my back in response to a moment (or extended tirade) of despair or frustration, he is mothering me.
Even my daughter, who gently wiped a few tears off of my face last week and then looked at me softly while she held my face, can mother me. Strangers who help with my shopping cart or offer me a seat on the metro - they are my momentary "mothers".
Being mothered; is a beautiful gift. Being a mother; is a tremendous gift to ourselves as well.
Biology notwithstanding, I think perhaps our freedom to give unabashedly to our children goes far to help make our bond with our children so strong. That giving, that overflowing generosity moment by moment, is renewing.
The acts of giving may tire me at times (okay, I'm sort of always tired), but in my experience, nothing has been so nourishing as mothering another. That other is not only my daughter. When I give unencumbered to another, I feel blessed. Really. I feel the blessing of sharing and of passing the love. Is that entirely too corny? Okay, call me Mama Corndog, then.
There is no other place where I feel this blessing so strong as when I mother someone (my daughter, my partner, a stranger) when I feel wronged in some way. To feel criticized or ill-treated by someone I love and still choose to offer generosity - seeing them as a person in need of love (as we all are, and not in a diminishing, patronizing way) - is beyond fabulous. So lately, I've been wondering...