Getting Mommed

Cartography: mapping the territory in which we find ourselves –

Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.
Maria Montessori

I have a somewhat uncommon experience, in that my mother taught English at the high school I attended. Some of my friends from high school still refer to her as “Momma,” because she was known to care for many children in addition to her own. Since she taught for thirty years, there is virtually no corner of her city untouched by her insistence on giving all students access to great literature, the tools with which to think for themselves, and the writing skills with which to articulate those thoughts.

My mother wanted to have creative children, so she read up on the topic. She provided us with finger paint, brown paper bags, and free time. She still gives us books as gifts, and although she has been known to read every word of a book before giving it, we already know she’s hand-picked something substantive, provocative, hefty (usually from the New York Times’ best-seller’s list) for us each to read every holiday or birthday.

More than merely provide intellectual stimulation in a safe environment, however, what my Mom does is nurture others, encouraging them to explore their potential, to find their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, and to creatively release their uniquely individual “self” into the world, in an effort to propagate the common good. In this way, everyone who nurtures others with compassion has done some mothering, regardless of their gender or child-rearing experience. To honor of all those who have mentored another person, planted an encouraging word, nurtured it and watched it grow, I wanted to offer a “Mother’s Day” greeting, by way of the following:

Degas

Card Front: "Combing the Hair" by Edgar Degas

Tangled

Card Inside: "Tangled" by Anne Yale. 2009. Brushed air.

I would also like to thank anyone who has “mommed” me in some way: offering much needed encouragement,  bread for the body, or food for thought — your commentary, suggestions, and ideas are welcomed and sincerely appreciated.

And to everyone, I wish a Happy “Mother’s” Day!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wini Parker on May 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    And this is the Mrs. Muise who made an impact on me in high school! Happy Mother’s Day, Anne, to you and Mrs. Muise who “mommed” so many like me:

    “More than merely provide intellectual stimulation in a safe environment, however, what my Mom does is nurture others, encouraging them to explore their potential, to find their strengths and overcome their weaknesses, and to creatively release their uniquely individual “self” into the world, in an effort to propagate the common good.”

    BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Pam on May 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful, Anne!!

    Reply

  3. Posted by jim hodge on May 8, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Happy Mothers Day Anne! Your Mom was great- thanks for the insight

    Reply

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