I was wondering when I started becoming a mom. And I think it might have been right about here:
As a kindgergarten/Grade One teacher, I had my share of mothering practice. But the kids were generally well behaved at school, and they went home at 3:30 to misbehave for their parents.
Another phase of motherhood started when I was pregnant in 2003 - wondering, worrying, and waiting for what would come. And in December 2003 - the gift of life: Zoe. Her name means "life" in Greek, and she certainly brought new life. Helped me see the world through different eyes, and burst my heart into a million pieces just watching her tiny perfect body sleep. Her energy and inquiring mind inspires me.
And then in 2006 - a gift during the hot summer months where earthly paradise abounds: Eden. Her name means "earthly paradise" in Hebrew. She has grown me in countless ways, forced out of the ground like a humid, hothouse flower. Her calm spirit is a balm to my soul.
Two very different babies, and now children, who have helped me expand in countless ways.
I'm terribly grateful to my own mom, in ways I'm still just beginning to understand. Words cannot express. She still helps me along the way, as a guide on the side - not wanting to step on my toes, even though I sometimes want her to. I feel like she gave me stable roots and strong wings.
And my grandmas - I miss you, and am thankful for the ways you taught me to mother. And so many other friends, aunts, a mother-in-law, cousins, countless women who've been my mentors on this journey...
I'd like to think that I'd be a mother even if I never had kids of my "own." Because who needs to "own" a child anyway? Isn't the whole point to give them a place to grow into the people they're meant to be? Anyone can do that. Doesn't have to be strictly a parenting role. Perhaps we're all in the process of mommyfication - both women and men - of learning to nurture and grow those around us, of encouraging roots to grow deep and wings to fly high.
And you? Who has taught you to mother/nurture those around you? What experiences made you become more "mommyfied"?