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Where Do Mothers Find This Unbelievable Strength, Wisdom, and Courage?

They dig very, very deep and dabble in guilt.
They run on minimal sleep and do what they have to do
because the bond between a mother and child is an inseparable one.

What they do for their children
and know about them
is a connection that begins when the egg and sperm meet
and is unending.

And they gain wisdom
in trial—
and in error.

And having observed their own mothers
in their giving and also in their restraint.
Restraint: the hardest part.

But they are human
and challenge their own thinking
as much as they challenge their children’s
in an effort to do their very best:
to not make a mistake with their most important vocation.

They know they don’t know the perfect answer,
for there never is one.

They observe and observe and observe,
and check their gut and ask questions.

And they forgive,
eventually themselves,
always their progeny.

And they remember
their own adolescence,
their own teenage years
their own young adulthood.

And they practice guiding,
and then they surrender
to restraint.

They question the meaning and the difference
between condoning and tolerance.
And they practice
and they give
and they ask for faith.

And then they surrender.

“Consider the trees which allow the birds to perch, and fly away, without either inviting them to stay, or desiring them never to depart. If your heart can be like this, you will be nearer to the way.”

Zen Buddhist teaching


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