Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers. The ones who physically birthed children. And those who have not. Even those who had c-sections. I read the Internet. I know some folks don’t think you are real mothers. And those folks I like to call wrong. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

There is a branch of anthropology that studies what is known as mothering. It describes the work done to raise and nurture children. As we know in the black community it takes a village to raise a child and everyone contributes whether they are parents or not. This is called mothering. Happy Mother’s Day to the village of neighbors, aunts, cousins, sisters, church ushers, big Mamas, Madears, Nanas, Sunday school teachers, choir directors.

These women taught us how to live and get along with people. How to chew with our mouths closed. How to sit with our legs closed in a dress. How to wash ourselves. How to make friends. Over many a meal, while you were holding down your ear so you can get your hair pressed for Sunday, while you are shelling peas,eating watermelon our mothers taught us life lessons. Stuff you can’t learn in school. Alice Walker’s poem “The Women” sums up my sentiments exactly.
They were women then
My mama’s generation
Husky of voice–stout of
Step
With fists as well as
Hands
How they battered down
Doors
And ironed
Starched white
Shirts
How they led
Armies
Headragged generals
Across mined
Fields
Booby-trapped
Ditches
To discover books
Desks
A place for us
How they knew what we
Must know
Without knowing a page
Of it
Themselves.

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