The hands that rock our cradles and steady our lives
“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”
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― Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match
No word can suffice to delineate the bond that a mother shares with her child. Motherhood is the most invaluable gift that a woman is blessed with, and perhaps only a mother knows the subtle emotions that she goes through right from the day when she feels the first sign of life within her, to when she first holds her baby in her arms, to the countless times she nurtures him/her with her unfathomable affection all her life. In sociological terms, procreation is one of the most significant phenomena that is responsible for the normal workings of the world.
Parenting a child comes with its own shares of pleasures and pains. Even though the social role of a mother has come to vary greatly with the dawn of the 20th century, in Indian context, it is still mothers who are primarily looked upon as caregivers to their children. Her joys know no bounds as she sees her infant throwing up his/her limbs up in air, grabbing her fingers with its little hand, or smiles back at her. ‘Motherese’ is also of crucial significance when it comes to the development of a child’s speech patterns.
Starting from its infancy, a mother shoulders numerous responsibilities in order to ensure a healthy and happy life for her child. She not only caters to his/her basic needs such as hunger, thirst and excretion, but all along the growing years, she does her best to lay a strong foundation for his/her future. Though the concerns are largely shared between both the parents, a mother is the one who senses every pulse of her child and thus more closely associated with his/her well-being. She has to be a wonderful multi-tasker juggling with her many duties as a home-maker, nurturer, teacher, cook, household manager and also, being a wife to her children’s father. Right from the tender years, a mother monitors every tiniest development of the child and holds her hand through the different phases of life. Needless to mention, her only reward is her child’s happiness. To watch her child grow is the sweetest sense of fulfillment that a mother experiences.
Being a companion in his/her little joys and sorrows, pampering him/her with silly indulgences, lovingly pointing out his/her minor follies and teaching him/her to differentiate between the good and the bad, mothers lay the foundation of lives, in the true sense of the term. Be it lunch-boxes, the book of rhymes or the dancing frock or the crayons, everything is even more beautified by her warmth. With due passage of time, these are gradually replaced by a pair of denims, laptops, perfumes and i-pods, but the love remains as guileless and undiluted as ever. She walks with her “little one” through the ups and downs of life, inspiring, comforting and soothing her children and steadying the ship of their life under all circumstances. No matter how adverse the situation, a mom is always there to help her children, irrespective of whether they are kids or adults.
Motherhood is walking around with all of your nerve endings raw and exposed. It is the most extreme measure of being alive. Washington Irvin has rightly said, “A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”