Bonds of motherhood are interconnected

Published 9:32 am Friday, May 10, 2013

“[A] Mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.”
— Emily Dickinson

I thought writing this week’s column would be easy. I figured I’d write about Mothers — my Mother and myself as a Mother — but it was not as simple as I thought to put down in words what I feel. It is much more of a complex subject than I anticipated.

How do you express yourself about something that is so interconnected? Like the poet quoted above, being a mother has been about taking care of skinned knees, dealing with chicken pox and teenage heartache but it is much more than that.

I still run to my mother when I’m troubled, upset or stressed out. I guess it is just part of the job description.

Being a mother has been rewarding but it has also been extremely challenging and scary. I believe, and there are probably scientific studies to back me up on this, that children don’t appreciate their Mothers, or their Fathers for that matter, until their brains have fully developed — so really not until their reach their 20s.

I know it took me a long time to figure it out. Mothers really are wise and know when to back off and when to swoop in. As you see every day in the animal world — Mothers are protective but also encourage independence – that is a fine balancing act.

I know personally that I would fight and try to protect my daughter with every ounce of life I have. I also know that watching her deal with heartache and pain is one of the hardest things I’ve ever kept silent about.

These days, we really have developed a more mature relationship of sharing accomplishments and every day occurrences. It has taken us awhile to get here, but we’ve grown into friends — however our relationship is much more complex than that.

My sister and I have that same deal with our Mom. At our ages, we appreciate her now more than ever. My Mom really has set a good example, nurturing but not interfering. She is absolutely my role model and the epitome of all I strive to be, as a Mother and a person. Kind, calm and giving — all words that describe my mother. I hope one day my daughter feels the same about me.

So many of my friends have lost their Mothers and they all tell me how lucky I am to have mine. I agree wholeheartedly. I am extremely grateful and blessed that my Mom is here to still encourage me. And encourage me she does — every single day.

When I was young, she hauled me to scouts, choir practice and came to the football games to watch me cheer no matter the weather. She soothed my nerves when she took me to orientation at VCU. She has been there for every milestone in my life and has been my champion.

So too have I tried to do the same for my daughter. We did dance lessons, soccer, softball and play rehearsals and I put her on a plane to travel to Costa Rica all alone. I read “Goodnight Moon” about 200 times and still love that sweet little book.

I have so many memories, as I’m sure Mom does too of all the years that have passed. I am proud to be my daughter’s Mother and doubly proud to be my Mother’s daughter. It’s a circle, connected by very special bonds.

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”
— Abraham Lincoln

LUCY WALLACE is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her email address is