I celebrated my birthday recently and, a week before that, my son’s birthday, too.
I told my son that his birthday is so special because we celebrate that he came into the world and we are so grateful that he is here. I said it was one of the happiest days of my life when he came into our lives and I was so grateful to be his mother. His birthday, after all, was the day the mother in me was born.
So – I nearly shed a tear when my mum gave me a card a week later with the words “Your birthday will always be special to me, because its the day you came into my life’.
On reflection, gratitude is a sentiment which is rarely acknowledged in debate about motherhood – aside from burden, penalty and childcare.
Yet, I imagine that my mother and I are not the only mothers to feel that sense of utter thankfulness on our children’s birthdays. Perhaps gratitude is the sister of mother-love which, when expressed, can be one of the most precious gifts we can give to our children: for them to know they are loved for being themselves and that they have brought their own-shaped joy into the lives of their mothers.
Later in the year, my book, “Human, Mother, Woman”, on mothers, feminism and western culture will be published!
Here’s a teaser. Happy New Year, all.
“Welcome to the Purplestockings Movement. It’s about love; it’s about mothers.
You may have heard of the terms ‘Bluestockings’ to signify educated, intellectual, women; or ‘Redstockings’ those women’s liberationists most notable in the Icelandic women’s strike.
In the tradition of those sisters, I have settled on ‘Purplestockings’ to signify this maternal feminism, to nod to those Suffragette colours, to invoke the nobility in mothering, and because, well, it’s my favourite colour. ”
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49511010@N08/6922675229“>free texture – purple dream</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/“>(license)</a>