How do you know if you will be a good mom?

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The answer may not be what you think.


Mothers.

I have one.

I am one

I have a daughter who is one.

Those facts should give me some credentials for commenting on the subject. Now, if only the relationship between mothers and their children wasn't so difficult to put into words.

I know people who feel the need to speak to their mothers every day. I also know people whose teeth are set on edge at the very sound of their mother's voice. And I know people who would place themselves in both of those categories with no reservation.

One of the best illustrations of mothering I've ever heard was given by a preacher. (That happens a lot.) He told the story of a mother eagle perched on the cliff of a ravine over a raging river that was rising moment by moment closer to the nest where her three baby eaglets were sleeping.

The mother eagle watched the flooding waters break over the rocks, throwing pillars of steaming white water high into the air. Then, unconcerned for her own safety, she began one by one to fly her babies across the treacherous current to the safety of the far side of the ravine.

As she clutched the first one in her beak, the eaglet said, "Oh Mother, this is the most wonderful thing you have ever done for me. I'll spend the rest of my life trying to repay you for this kindness." The mother eagle opened her beak and dropped the baby eaglet into the raging waters.

As the mother flew the second eaglet across the flood, this one said, "Oh Mother, this is a brave and wonderful thing you are doing for me. How can I ever repay you?" The mother eagle opened her beak and dropped the baby eaglet into the violent stream.

As the mother eagle carried the third eaglet over the torrent, the baby said, "Oh Mother, this is a tremendous thing you are doing for me. I only hope I can do the same for my children one day." And the mother eagle carried that eaglet to the safety of the far side of the river.

Some children can do no wrong in their mother's eyes. Some are the light of their mother's life. Some can never please their mothers or get over the guilt of not living the lives their mothers expected of them. And you can't always tell which folks fit into which category by just hearing them talk about their mothers or by seeing them in their company.

I fit in there somewhere. And if you asked me to tell you my definition of what a mother is supposed to be, I'd give you this example.

My mother never doubts that she can find me in a crowd. I don't care if it's fifty Girl Scouts getting off a bus, or a thousand capped and gowned graduates in a football stadium, or masses of people moving through an airport. My Mom is always certain she can pick out that one face she came to see

I love finding my Mother in a crowd before she finds me. I love to see her scan a sea of faces, squinting to focus, beginning to make a recognition then realizing it's someone else, and moving on with her relentless search.

The reason I love to see her do this is because not once, no matter what I've put her through in the past, or what dreams she had for me that I've let die, not once has she ever found my face in a crowd and looked like she was disappointed to see me.

That's mothering. That's what I hope to do for my children.


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Comments 16 comments

Betsy Czark profile image

Betsy Czark 5 years ago from Panama and Seattle

that was wonderful. Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing one of my daughters' faces - especially when I am least expecting it.

Thanks for the good lens.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

Welcome to HubPages!

"...not once has she ever found my face in a crowd and looked like she was disappointed to see me."

A most remarkable and poignant observation! I am an instant fan Kathleen. The mother eagle story was quite moving!

It seems you are going to be an outstanding asset for high quality hub content. I look forward to reading more of your work.

K9


orangecountyjill profile image

orangecountyjill 5 years ago from Orange County, California

Great story. My definition of a good mother also includes one who is strong enough to do the hard work. To teach the lessons that need to be taught, even when it makes you unpopular at that moment.

I promise my kids that I will always be honest with them and tell them the things I think they need to learn so that they grow up right. I've seen a lot of "no show" parents lately ;(


Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago

Thanks for the comments. I'm so encouraged that folks have already found my articles and showed interest in them. You know encouraging a writer is like throwing gasoline on a fire!


Ultimate Hubber profile image

Ultimate Hubber 5 years ago

Kathleen, that is a great story! Mothers care for their children without even thinking about a reward.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Wonderful Hub about mothers and you and your mother in particular. Made me tear up about my own mother, but in a good way. :)

I burst out laughing at your response in the comment section, "You know encouraging a writer is like throwing gasoline on a fire!" How true, how true! :) SHARING


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Mother's Day is coming round again. The message never changes. Thanks for sharing.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Happy first anniversary on HubPages to me! Here's my very first hub - on Mothers!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Somebody's reading a lot of my stuff today - THANKS!


The Unlearner profile image

The Unlearner 3 years ago from Isle of Wight UK

I don't know anyone who thinks they are a good mother, because we all seem to beat ourselves up. In the spirit of Mothers Day- I hear by declare, WE ARE ALL WONDERFUL MOTHERS :)


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Hear! Hear!


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 3 years ago from Northern California

Thanks for sharing this perspective! As an adopted child, I feel blessed that my mother is able to love me for who I am, though I'm not biologically her child - I know she would do anything to help me to better myself at any time.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

glassvisage: What a wonderful thing to be able to say about any mother under any circumstances. I actually wrote this hub quite a while ago, but just lost my Mom recently. I saw it in my profile and just felt like sharing it. Glad it spoke to you.


abbaelijah profile image

abbaelijah 2 years ago from Nigeria

Wonderful hub !

Thanks for sharing !


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

abbaelijah: Welcome to my hubs. My Mom has been gone over a year now. Glad to see this one read again.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 6 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Five years ago this week I posted this, my first hub. It's been a great ride - 154 hubs later. Thanks HP and everybody who's helped me along the way!

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