we’ll call you freedom

the moo is sick, quite ill actually, and, in observing his little tender self, i’ve decided that there are few things more vulnerable than a sick child, and probably nothing more important as tending to them- not that it is always easy to do.

i was up from my attempt at slumber many times last night, comforting my moo, running my hands through his hot hair, with my back breaking from bending over his crib and my legs shaking from exhaustion after a busy 5 day set and a week of crummy sleep (i’ve apparently developed a mom related sleep disorder). thankfully, on one particular moment where i was unsure if i had the energy reserves to be what he needed me to be, i heard the voice of a woman i know- a lovely person, yoga teacher, fit fit wonder momma and real life goddess- say: “a hero takes many forms … when a mother, exhausted, rises from sleep to tend to her hungry, sick, or  needy child, that too is a heroic act” (NRH).

yoga beauty said this once to a group i was in where she was facilitating an intense yoga challenge for us and, simultaneously, drawing on hindu mythology to reinforce her point of looking deep within to aid in our outward efforts. she was encouraging us to explore devotion, the pure intention and total commitment that rama, hindu legend, exhibited in his love, in his faith, and in his living actions. she highlighted that his commitment to values transpired into heroic life practice and reminded us that there are a number of forms of heroism, not all as earth-shaking, ocean defeating, or god conquering as rama’s but just as important- if fuelled from honest motivation, deep intent, and true effort.

i guess i’d thought about it before, it had been mentioned before in class or elsewhere anyways, and it wasn’t new spiritual knowledge that inward meditative focus often transpired into worldly selflessness or that many acts of duty or responsibility were often acts of faith, motivated by feelings of love and the virtue of commitment, but, i, for obvious reasons, really appreciated her reference to the application of faith involved in the heroic effort required to mother.  i found it inspiring then and even more so last night. who wouldn’t want to be a hero for him?

and, motherhood, for all intensive purposes, is a hero’s journey. really… if you look at the classic formula for a hero’s tale, the template is always the same- youth, mission, departure, the quest for truth and goodness, the overcoming of obstacles, the defeat of threats, the return from journey matured, accomplished, transformed, and full of lessons to share and a greater capacity to give. and though not quite the same, motherhood is also a transformative journey. what is it to mother but to mature, leave one’s self, return to one’s self wiser and stronger then before, thwart risks for the greater good, and give and give and give (to the most deserving of recipients)? 

i think she was right. and, the moo is so deserving. by simply being alive, of course, but also for more… he’s been working so hard at life lately… he’s demonstrated that he is quite the resilient little fellow, all things considered. though we provide for him the most nurturing,  safe, stable and predictable environment we can, there has been a tremendous amount of stress and upheaval the last few months and, although joy is the center of most of our days, our stress has definitely had an impact on his little core.

last night, looking at him, weak and fragile, and as precious as anything could be, i felt so much respect for him for enduring as he does. though he is a little need machine, he really doesn’t ask for much, compared to his high maintenance mama anyhow, and his silent trust in me is so humbling. it’s a large responsibility to bear, doing right by a little life, but, i will. always. i’m devoted to him. mothering is how i practice my faith.


One Comment to “we’ll call you freedom”

  1. What a lovely way to view motherhood … you are truly a ‘Hero’. I’m so very proud of you!

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