A mother is the most intimate of nurturers. She begins when a child is but a cell multiplying in size at an incredible rate. She may not be aware that it is there, but her instinctual body does, and it begins to change immediately. Her body, in which all parts are pieced together like a complex puzzle now comes apart, moving and shaping itself around the new life form within. A mother will make sacrifices of coffee and sugar and sleep and comfort while she nurtures life within, all without complaint. When once she was contented when tightening her belt to a new size, she now welcomes pants with elastic waistbands. All for the sake of nurturing life.
When pain sets in and the new life beckons to burst forth, a mother settles into instinct, putting fear of pain and loss aside. The moment a child is a born, the mother must learn new ways to nurture its life, as what was internal and instinct become external and learned. She learns to feed and change and hush and serve in new profound ways.
As the child grows, a mother learns to nurture with a soft touch, a strong hand of discipline, a broken heart, an encompassing embrace, a gentle word. She puts band aids on pretend wounds, kisses bruised knees, cleans up horrific messes, breaks fevers and warms cold hands. She smiles through her tears as each day her child learns to function with less of her.
The day that a mother’s intimate nurturing is no longer a requirement for her child to live is much like the day the child left her body. Agony of pain rips through her core as she is left with a vacated part of herself. Bittersweet is the moment the child becomes an adult, and for the last time walks out the door in which she carried her newborn baby through with a nurturing embrace and a heart filled and pouring out.