Tuesday, April 29, 2008


For all the Mothers, but moreso for all the Sisters.

As Mother’s day approaches I’m deeply mindful of my own Mum’s wonderfulness, failings, sacrifices, foibles and love.
I recall little magical things: the times home sick when I’d be tucked into a bed so tight I had to fall asleep because movement was impossible. So sleep I would, until around 10am, then it was a chicken-noodle cuppa soup and a white-bread cheese sandwich and a promise that if I stayed in bed until 1 pm I could get up in my jammies and watch ‘The Young and the Restless” then ‘Day’s of our Lives’.
She’d be ironing and the lounge would smell of warm fabric; I’d be hooking my rug or working on the latest craft tapestry.

Or the time she made her first chilli-con-carne using real chillies and got over excited and used sooo much that even my Dad (a business traveller accustomed to the hottest of curries) was gagging and beet-red.

She has her strife (hell she’s Scorpio!) and her lack of sensibility at times- but she’s mine. I get to say that about her, it’s the nature of parenting I guess that for a kid the parent is simply ‘theirs’…

Yet as the advertising sweeps in celebrating this one aspect of Womanhood I’m also mindful of my sisters who aren’t mothers and will not or may never be.
I have friends who have chosen the clear path of not having kids. I salute them for this bravery in a time where ‘family’ still means just one thing in the mainstream.

These smart and beautiful single woman around me who hear the dreaded ticking clock and hope then don't and find ways to somehow push through with open hearts and yet deep introspection.

My lesbian friends who are so strong together and caring and kind but for whom physical motherhood means so much 'assistance' they've chosen to write it off.

My friends and all women who have tried and struggled and tried again and been constantly accosted by the images of babies in most advertising media. It used to be nude gals and sexualization of women I hated in ads, now it’s the notion of the super-mother and super-father with their perfectly clean and cuddly offspring.

I too have tried and tried and struggled and been made little by the medical profession who though they do want to help must have hides of leather to keep themselves sane. I don’t hate them.

But I love my sisters who know the grief, or the choice, or the existential crisis of not being part of this huge club. We stand outside the circle and make our own clubs where the sheer rudeness of strangers and their assumptions, or the sheer arrogance of a culture that celebrates only one form of mothering, are offset by a deep understanding of our times of loneliness and our times of mad and liberal joy.

This mother’s day I ask you to thank any woman you know who has ‘mothered’ you with her care, her cooking, her straight talk or her tough love.

For Jenny, Tracey, Sharnee + Tan. For Aaron and Shona. For Alanna and Sharon and Shellie and Emilie:
My love, respect and abiding fondness for our own 'parenting' cirlce.

2 comments:

PROUD WOMAN said...

Reminiscing makes wonderful blog posts hey... I so enjoyed this one... I'm not one for celebrating this commercial thing called mothers day... women should be treated with respect all year round, but you've 'added' another dimension to the existing celebration... way to go Sister!!!

I applaud your honesty... I feel your pain... I support everything you have said... you've put it so succinctly and and articulately

SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL!!!

larrythelibrarian said...

Sailor Lil moves me with her reminiscing and her writing. The sentiments about being outside the mainstream if you don't have children is so true - and why we must create our own families.