The vulnerability of Mothers

I read a quote once that said “Becoming a mother means spending the rest of your life with your heart walking around outside your body”. When you have children, you fear far more for them than you ever have for yourself. Things can happen to them. And the thought of that can make you feel like someone just reached into your chest and squeezed your heart.

When I look at the world, both globally and historically, I see that Mothers have always been the most vulnerable to tragedy, horror, and heartache. For what more damage can you do to a human being than to take a mother and have her witness the unthinkable done to her child? Sometimes I reel just thinking about the depth of pain and suffering that is possible, far beyond harming a person, by harming a mother’s child. And how many millions of souls have suffered this at the hands of soldiers, mauraders, and warriors. It makes my mind spin to recognize my own good fortune, that by virtue of being born in the right Age and the right Place I will likely be spared this unimaginable fate. I’m aware that many women have not. That is what I mean about the vulnerability of mothers.

The other day I was out on a field trip with DD and her school. We emerged out of the woods and onto a school playing field, and the children began to run across it. It was so cute seeing their little wobbly running style, all clad in rain gear. As I saw my little girl running across that field, seemingly so small and fragile among the vast open green space, she seemed so vulnerable to me. That was my heart out there, running in those froggy boots and wooly hat. My heart. Too far away for me to grab if need be. Vulnerable. It’s moments like when I feel that the incredible blessings of Motherhood also come with a price – that kind of love makes you open to the deepest kinds of hurt, too. But you know, the love really is worth it.

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