• Jody Kussin

#57 Family Matters Happy Mother's Day to All Mama Bears

In These Times by Dr. Jody Kussin, May 10, 2020

You know what makes a mother? Children. Plain and simple. Children you biologically make, or carry or adopt or take into your heart.

A long time ago a little musical trio named Parachute Express had this little song:

Who will draw a line around the moon? Who will draw a line from star to star? Who will pull down the sun with the golden glow? Who will light for you, this candle fire?

This is a perfect song for any and all moms. We are worried for you, our kids. Who will protect you? Who will educate you? Who will help you? And who will light the way? As you all know, a major myth of motherhood revolves around the age old question, posed to all pediatricians: “When will s/he sleep through the night?” Any honest professional will tell you, “It does not really matter, because truthfully, YOU, as the mom, will never again sleep through the night.” You will always sleep lighter ‘than before.’ You will have one ear open for cries, when they are babies, bumps in the night, when they first learn to catapult themselves out of the crib, tip toes into your bedroom (and up into your bed), for years longer than you ever thought possible, fridges opening for late night snacks by middle school years, doors or windows opening at 3am when they are teenage drivers, and finally, phone calls or texts that beep and buzz just when you hit REM sleep cycles, for the entire rest of your life.

A mother is created and designed by all her children – those she raises in her house and those who frequent her house. She is shaped into a person she was not, prior to the role. She begins in a ‘starring role’ and later becomes a ‘co-star’ as that’s the way it’s supposed to go. As the little boy in the Carrot Song, she plants the seed, waters, and pulls the weeds – and then the carrot/baby/child/teen/young adult grows. There are lots of weeds. Such is the nature of growing anything. Mom cannot stop the challenges that pop up and interfere with evolution. She can be present, spot them, acknowledge them, and on occasion, indeed, pull the weeds. Sometimes she can plant other flowers nearby. On other occasions, she can sit outside and visit as her child tends to their garden.

I am personally incredibly grateful to my children for raising me up. Three young adult kids wandering the planet who inspire me mostly and worry me always. I cannot turn it off, although I do try to turn the volume down on their behalf. I also am grateful to my niece and nephews and to my kids’ friends and to my friends’ kids. I am deeply appreciative to the community’s children as well, who fill my heart with concern and motivate me professionally to ensure that every child has someone who will worry for them.

Who will draw a line around the moon? The song ends:

I will draw a line around the moon? I will draw a line from star to star? I will pull down the sun with the golden glow? I will light for you, this candle fire?

Sweet song and fierce lyrics.

On Mother’s Day I give thanks to my bear cubs and to all the other mama bears on the planet. We will do whatever we can for you, for all of you, whenever we can.

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