Sunday, May 12, 2013


As farmers, we see lots of mommas and babies. The circles of life are considerably smaller in livestock and wildlife than in most humans.

So quickly a pig, duckling, chick or calf can be removed from its mother and still thrive. We substitute as parents for them, providing food, shelter and security. 

Some folks get their biological parents for life and some never see their biological parents. Some get people who stand in, and stand up as parents. I've had a mix of it in my life: as a parent, the joy of seeing my daughter grow and mature. Such a delight and honor! I'm a daughter and a stepdaughter. My grandmother was my fathers stepmother, after his dad was widowed. I'm a stepmother. And a stand in mother for some dear ones who have mothers not able to be. I know people who adopted or who were adopted, or gave up newborns for adoption. Women who have fur babies. Women who have buried their children. 

Mothering. The acts of encouraging, protecting, nurturing, teaching, loving, healing. Pushing, prodding, stopping, starting. Rule making, rule breaking. Hoping and worrying. No matter the bloodline it is always there. 

My mother was not able to care for me on a daily basis. She wrote letters, with that old style cursive, neat and straight, with messages that asked me to make sure I wore clean underwear. And chewed my food. My stepmother was there everyday, with many more messages, thoughts and insights. My mother died 25 years ago, my stepmother is with us, will attend my daughters graduation celebration next week. My sweet mother-in-law will not, as she has passed away. 

I have a group of friends who all have in common a woman we love and respect, and go to for guidance. For years we have been lucky enough to have a get away weekend with her. Many call her mom. Each of us know that she is wise, thoughtful, filled with insight. When asked she will provide guidance and shed light on things that baffle, confuse, confound. 

It is an amazing thing to be a mother. No matter the form it takes. I'm tickled for all the forms of mothers I get to have and get to be. 

And our momma pig? Gonna have more piglets soon. 

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