How Do They (Moms) Do It?

Short n’ sweet today: I’m taking a short break from drafting the last few pages of the manuscript to write this piece. But I wouldn’t have come this far in my career or life without my partner or my mom. This is a day for moms, though, not spouses, and Cynthia was the one who confirmed for me–from her hospital bed–that this writer’s life I had been considering, for all its ups and downs, sounded like the chosen path for me. She believed in me. And I believe in her still, even if she’s only vapour, dust and dreams. I can speak to that part of her that is eternal, that is within me, whenever I wish.

Being a mom is a job that never ends, has shit pay, no benefits and–at the best of times–a difficult customer (or two, or three!). My mom didn’t always get me (the whinge of almost every teenager in existence, who believes themselves the world-turning axis of a YA novel). She rarely agreed with me (mostly because I made such shitty, self-damaging decisions). But she was present and she tried. That’s the secret to parenting I think: letting your child know that you love them even when they don’t want to be loved. We remember those feelings from our parents when we’re ready and accepting of that commitment. I love my mom more and more each day, despite her being gone. The echoes of her kindness are louder than the agony of her death. I hope that all the mothers being celebrated today have children that love you as much as I love Cynthia. So, this poem is for you ladies as much as for her.


My Keeper

My keeper never fails to see,

All that I could ever be

I am the apple of her eye

She, the shoulder on which to cry

Athena, Cassandra and Dione of Zeus

Goddess and oracles

But I only needed you

To set me on the path

To right me till I’m true

And facing


A fledgling bird,

I am no more

Pushed from the nest

At last to soar

Into gloaming sky

Twilight’s swell

Breaking sun

And darkest dell

Which is how you move,


Now that you are free

No sadness

No mountain too high

No river too deep

For the thundering time

and quiet

The Glory

and riot

Of rest now earned

From Shepherding a life

From nest to wing to man

As has been done

with I

–Christian A. Brown, 2017

P.S. Elissandra and her brood, featured for today’s image, may seem to be stretching the spirit of ‘motherhood’ and family a bit far. But consider to what lengths she goes and what sacrifices are made to protect her family, then decide whether or not she’s a great mom (I think she is, even if her mothering style is a bit heavy-handed and, yes, psychotic 🙂 ).