All in Family Adventures

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
Underfoot. Be it lighted by the light that falls
Freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
And the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,
Which is the light of imagination. By it you see
The likeness of people in other places to yourself
In your place. It lights invariably the need for care
Toward other people, other creatures, in other places
As you would ask them for care toward your place and you.

-Wendell Berry

Mother, I’m trying
to write
a poem to you—


which is how most
poems to mothers must
begin—or, What I’ve wanted
to say, Mother.
..but we
as children of mothers,
even when mothers ourselves,

cannot bear our poems
to them. Poems to
mothers make us feel

little again. How to describe
that world that mothers spin
and consume and trap

and love us in, that spreads
for years and men and miles?
Those particular hands that could

smooth anything: butter on bread,
cool sheets or weather. It’s
the wonder of them, good or bad,

those mother-hands that pet
and shape and slap,
that sew you together
the pieces of a better house
or life in which you’ll try
to live. Mother,

I’ve done no better
than the others, but for now,
here is your clever failure.


-Another Poem for Mothers | Erin Belieu, 1967

When I chose to be a mother, it was with the understanding that motherhood is forever. It’s forever in a way nothing else is; even marriage is something you choose every day, something that can be dissolved if things go awry. The choice to be a mother is final, and binding. You get to choose it once, essentially, when you find out it's happening, and then that choice carries its way down and down along the line of the rest of your life.

We finally got through the work week yesterday, though, so I was able to send her and G downstairs when she refused to sleep so I could rest at little. I woke up to them watching Big Hero Six together, having a bunch of feelings of sadness and celebration.

I talk to her about that kind of thing; I'm not a no-screen-time kind of mom, but I do try to make a point to be sure her media consumption doesn't go without any reflection, so we talk about things. Big Hero Six has grief as such a big plot point that it's essentially a character, and the story is only a thin allegory to the concept of carrying, processing, and releasing that grief.