For those who don’t know, I love all things by Joy the Baker. On Sundays, I always visit her blog to read her “Let it Be Sunday” post which includes links to great articles and yummy new recipes to archive and try later. This Sunday, she had a link to a great read titled Mothers Are Keepers of Bodies. As someone who regularly thinks about her body sometimes negatively, sometimes positively, sometimes with awe, sometimes with dissatisfaction, and sometimes with gratefulness, though admittedly not near enough, I immediately clicked the link to read more. While I’m not a mother yet, I am surrounded by mothers everyday in my field of work and often dream about what it will feel like once I do become a mother, and how my understanding of what I think it will be like will change once I am.
After reading the article, I wanted to run to the phone and call my mom and tell her to read it. Then follow-up with, “I think I will soon come to understand everything you continually tell me about the beautiful person you see in me, probably when I’m a mother.”
Fortunately, my mother and I’s relationship has grown closer over time. It’s easy to become vulnerable with her. And the best moments are when we both choose to enter the delicate vulnerability state and reckon with our not so proud moments in our lives.
“I can’t help but be astonished that my own mother knew my body this intimately, that she wiped and researched and reveled in it. My body, this form that I have often neglected, at rare times hated, and sometimes, though not enough, enjoyed — my mom first studied its idiosyncrasies, basked in its tiny warmth, healed it.”
-Courtney E. Martin
My mother has continued to be a keeper and protector of my body. Through her stories she has shared, through her grace she has extended, and through her acceptance, I have continued to feel safe with sharing with her. And, thus, feel able to come to acceptance, gratefulness, and enjoyment of my sacred body.
While my mother sometimes expresses what I interpret as failure as she sees me in tears unable to accept and revel in my body, thinking to herself what didn’t I do as a mother to protect you from these feelings and emotions? I say this to her: You did everything you could and more. And, it’s impossible to protect me from everything. And that is okay. Because you are there afterward to help me allow my body to hold onto wounds less longer.
“Mothers are keepers of bodies. They’re not perfect. Sometimes they fail to protect their babies. But often they succeed. And it is a heroic effort, an unceasing miracle of sorts, hiding in plain sight.”
-Courtney E. Martin
Mom, you have and continue to succeed in every sense of the word.