I don't always feel as though I'm really a mother. Alder is my son and I take care of him and love him but coming into the role of Mother is a slow process. Tonight I was upstair and walked by his room which has really begun to look like a childs room not just a changing station and it hit me. One of those slight gasps from the bottom of the lungs when you briefly see things how they are. The light in his room always glows because of the yellow walls but tonight there was something else about it, as if my little boy has finally left his soul print somewhere.
As an individual Alder is already quite sure of himself, he spends sometimes ten minutes investigating a single object or intently watching one of us in action. His eyes are so full that I can just feel him storing away everything he is taking in. Sometimes I catch him watching me when I'm doing something less than motherly and I wonder what he will think of it later. But mainly I observe him watching the world around him and feel that I have a lot to live up to.
Mothering as an act has come naturally to me. I am finding contentness in the minutae and days pass differently than before. Still I don't yet feel as though I am altered. Perhaps I'll never feel that I am a mama first before I am an individual. As with everything else in my life I see Alder and my relationship with him as another piece to the collage. Later I'll look back and see the piece that is my life is filled with many different Alders included; already there is the newborn Alder and the Alder inside of me who have taken up residency in the collage. Maybe this is how I will grow into Motherhood as a role, it will be the adding of experiences.
If I am to always be an independent woman beyond my role of mother I can hope to pass this on to Alder. To raise an independent child he'll need to see Kevin and I being independent. Something neither of us can shed. He'll have to know that his life and love is secure with us so that he won't feel the need to watch over it, or leave it behind.
Part of the mystery of this motherhood is that I am here without a map, my own memories of my mother are from such a young age that I can not seperate her actions out from my general existance. I remember a lot about her and how we spent our time but I am aware that her choices and mine are very different. While she continued seriously in her teaching and research I want to give more of my time to Alder, not forgoing my writing.
When I think of my own mother I see her at the breakfast table first, eating dark toast and marmalade with black coffee. She wears her light blue robe, acrylic and fuzzy, reading the paper. The view grows wider and we are in Plainfield, our summer weeks there one of my prize possetions. The rythm of those days, of wandering, swimming and reading are what I seek to emmulate. I have a different memory of her too one of someone always busy. There were always students, and seminars, reviews to write and reseach to do. She love it all with passion, I can't imagine having something so important that it pulls me away from Kevin and Alder so much. I don't regrett her choices or resent them, she was the most needed Joyce/mother and hopefully I can be the most needed Stacey/mother. Even if my memories of her are faint I can try to use them as some reference.
Each of us leaves a footprint when we are gone, I think we all contenplate them occationally, my mother's was of an anthropologist who was a mother, a wife and a lover of sports. Mine will be different, I can only hope to instill in my child the wonderful sense of purpose and passion that she has given me.
I supose then feeling the part of mother is just those moments as I had standing in his doorway, only as he is around longer they will become more.
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