My earliest memory of my mother are of her hands not her eyes as you might imagine. Hands taking care of me, patting me, bathing me and combing my hair. Cooking hands, chopping onions and carrots and kneading bread as well as hands at rest at home reading a book, at work typing a report, and in our small community striving to make our home town a better place. At the Methodist church of my upbringing, my mom taught vacation bible school, even though she confessed she wasn’t sure she was a true believer, and made sure we had the proper, clean and ironed clothes to attend church. She sewed them with her own hands. As a young child, I found the Sunday sermon hour restless and she would distract me with her hands. We intertwined fingers, made steeples, exchanged gentle rubs, traced veins to quiet my energy until I was released to the fellowship hall and the feast of store-bought cookies, Kool-Aid and hopscotch.
I look at my hands today and they are the same hands of my mother, weathered by a life well-traveled, loved and filled with the joy and the sacrifice of motherhood, the toughness of a road not easily passed but hands full of the surprises, joy, a few scars, but hope for the future of our children — all destined to have the same hands as us.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of us who mother every day whether a child, a friend, a spouse, a colleague, a boss, a canine, a feline or a reptile. The definition of mothering is to bring up with care and affection so let’s broaden the term of mothering to include all of us with helping hands and loving hearts. To the mother in each of us.