Some Mommy Milestones have the ability to swallow us whole, without regard to our maternal status. They can reach beyond those of us carrying primary responsibility for raising a child and can remind all of us that it takes a village.
It’s the moment you are watching the evening news and there begins a story of a child hurt, lost or worse, and suddenly you are overcome by an emotional, and often physical, force of reaction that leaves you feeling sick, tears in your eyes, reaching for the phone to call you own mother.
Once you’ve loved a child, you open a space in your heart that has room for every child on earth. It comes with a fiercely protective impulse to keep the world’s innocent little people safe from harm.
A four-year old I know has it all figured out. He was playing in the park one day when he went to the aid of another little person who had given into a fit of tears. He gestured back to his mother and told the little girl, “There’s a mommy over there if you need one.”
Since going back to work after my son was born, I wonder… is there always a mommy around when he needs one?
Working moms (and all moms for that matter) make a lot of decisions that are no fun.
The answer is simple. We always make sure there’s a ‘mommy’ around. Mommy doesn’t have to mean an adult woman. Mommy is any human who has the pure ideology that all children need to be kept safe.
We all need to remember that we are mommies when a child needs one. We’ll keep the neighbor kids out of the water-filled ditches. My band-aids are your band-aids. We can’t bear the children’s cancer center radio-thon but yet won’t change the station. We’re riveted by scenes of starving children on television but they leave a pit in our stomachs for days. We classify foster parents as angels without even meeting them.
We’re often so worked up about what other adults would think that we forget to forge the bonds with the little people: the bonds they will balance on when their mommy isn’t around.
It takes a village. Be the village.