Mothers shape our lives more than we realize. They are the givers of all that is good. When we come from good homes, our mothers are bigger than life images in our minds. It is her step we distinguish from all the others, for we know when she comes, there will be food, a warm bath that makes us feel good, a clean diaper against our skin. We know she will bring warmth, laughter, and Love. We see this when she enters the room and quickly comes to tenderly undress us. Her fingers softly caress the back of our hands. She picks up each little foot and wiggles our toes. When we coo and make happy sounds, she laughs and her face lights up with an inner light. We track her with our eyes. She smells clean and sweet. She is our world and we feel she belongs to us. We know we are the most important thing in her life right now by the way she gently cradles our head, brushes back our fine hair, and gently touches our tiny ears. She rocks us singing lullabies and her voice produces peace in our hearts and a feeling of safety in our tiny world. We feel her protection and her love permeate our senses and enter into the pores of our skin. And we sense she is good and dependable, that our needs will be taken care of in such a way that makes us see ourselves as cherished and not a burden.
The communication between our mothers and us becomes a dance and a gently flowing wave on the ocean at night when all is calm. We search her eyes, observe her frown or smile, the tenseness of her body, and the pitch and tone of her voice. We become quickly attuned to her moods and she to ours. A connection is made and the bond grows with every gentle touch, every sung Lullaby, and warm bath that is given. When we make a sound, or complete a developmental task, she mirrors back to us we are loved, we are accepted, we are good. We learn to feel good about our bodies and ourselves. Our mothers mirror to us what is acceptable and not acceptable, what is good and what is bad. Her expressions tell us all we need to know. When we are older, we learn to walk and she becomes our cheering squad, our teacher, and our touchstone. Her love gives us the courage to wander out into the world. At first we hesitate and we come back to our touchstone to get the reassurance that she is OK with our leaving and is there for us when we return. We learn to separate and we learn that we will not-self destruct.
With time, we learn to model after our mothers. We watch her dress and put on make-up, watch the way she moves and we want to be like her. Our mothers model for us what a woman is, how it feels to be a woman, and what is acceptable behavior and not acceptable behavior for her gender. We observe and we listen. We get married, have children, and our mothers, if we are lucky, are there to help us pass on the legacy of how to be a woman.