“She had half-convinced herself that through love, and care, and unending vigilance, she could keep all harm from the fat, fretful child, this tiny inarticulate being that meant more to her than her own heart.”
– from The Last Mortal Bond, by Brian Stavely
This comes from a moment where an empress whose dominion is beset on all sides is having to come to terms with the limits of her power, as it applies to her ability to protect her son, barely a few months old. She has a great deal of influence and power, and the entire purpose she has bent that power to has been to protect her empire and the people within it. None of these is as dear to her as her own son, barely a few months old, and she must protect her empire in order to protect him. But what she’s been doing isn’t working, so she has to do something else, and that involves admitting that all her “love, care, and unending vigilance” just is not enough to ward everything away.
But she is a mother, so she will do what she needs to, even if it means changing her ways, altering her stance, and making some compromises, to situation, and the threat, at hand.
That is what mothers do. Even when they realize that they can’t do everything, which they very much yearn to, they do all they can, the best that they can.
My mother certain did, and still tries to. I am very thankful for – if also occasionally exasperated with – her love, her care, and her unending vigilance. She has bent all her heart to her the welfare of her children and grandchildren, to spending every possible moment with us, to helping us however she may and whenever we need. There is no greater pleasure for her, I think, than to see her offspring happy and comfortable.
Perhaps, as an uncle helping to raise a nephew, I am a little more keenly aware of everything she did for me and my sisters, and everything she does now. She worked hard, took care of us when we were sick, got us to keep the place clean (and stepped up when we failed to meet her expectation there), put up with us, disciplined us, rewarded us, fought for us, cooked our food, cleaned our clothes, taught us how to behave, encouraged us to be ourselves, and so much more.
And when she’s come up against things she can’t protect us from, she has built us up to protect ourselves and each other.
In short, she wasn’t just a female parent. She was a mom.
And now she’s a grandma, fully keen on using all of her previous experience to help her grandkids grow and develop as well. …while, of course, spoiling them rotten for the moment. 😉
I am exceptionally blessed with my mother, and, again, I am thankful to have her.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.