I just saw this documentary of an Italian chef and he describes the experience of his mother’s food and his mother’s presence, this soft and warm holding space for his return as a child and as an adult. One look at her on the screen and I started bawling. I wanted a hug from her. I wanted her to scoop me up and sing me songs and cook me good food and make the inevitable angst of daily life merely the expected drama of being alive.
This is not a moment to dip into my own history, but instead a moment to say that I’m here today in this line of work because I fight for the presence of a woman in motherhood.
The presence of you. Not the perfection.
Your children need just that. Nothing more. Walk away from trying to be anything they - your children - can sense is a fake and thusly disorienting platform of you. You will be a constant failure as a mother. You will. Maybe even every day. But, if you hang on tight and own your presence in that skin of yours, you and they will come out and know how to dance with failure in the most loving, courageous, and playful way.
Your children need the squishy center of you. The one received mysteriously and miraculously from the first time they learn eye contact. The one that we all experience nonverbally as an awakened, secure place to explore, experiment, leave, return, attach, counter, rebel, accept, and fall.
When you fight for strength, this is what you fight for. Not skinny jeans or a six pack, this. This is what you fight for. To become tethered to the deep center of you. To arm your body with vitality so that you can be a resilient, alive, flexible, sturdy organism of actualized maternal spirit and energy.
It’s worth it. It will change your children’s life. And it'll be a lot easier on you.
That's why I'm working out today. Tomorrow, it's for Richard Simmons.