There’s something that every hero, every character really needs. Starting right from the very beginning, a hero needs a mother.
A mother is the first one to hear the heartbeat of her child, the first one who gets to feel the wispy waters roll inside her stomach at the baby’s early stirrings. A mother is the child’s home.
A hero has to fight for his home.
One of the more prominent features in epic literature, from where the hero’s journey studies often begin, is the idea that the hero has to ‘establish’ something, usually a people or a city, in order for his legacy to be made complete. I like this idea, too, because while the hero’s journey focuses on the hero’s self-initiated journey, the hero has unknowingly been on one his or her whole life already.
As a child, the mother is the hero’s first voice inside of her mind.
As a mother myself, I often hear my children (sort of) repeat after me with their voice. They copy me in action, they talk with me, and most importantly, I understand them. Even though my husband and I trade of on playing ‘house’ and ‘work,’ I am the one who, more often, knows what they need, the one who knows what they think, and the one who knows how to make it better. My own mother is the same with me. Rarely a day goes by where we don’t talk, and I can hear her voice in my head when I need something to direct me. Next to the voice of God, I swear, most of my life has been an attempt to live up to the voice of my mother. Now that I am a mother myself, I see more of how my mother raised me, about how it was not a question of my ‘success’ as a child, but how we were as a family.
That’s a good legacy to leave. And a hard one to follow, too.
When I set out on my own, much like a hero embarking from his hometown, I set out in search of establishing myself, my own legacy. I knew I wanted kids, so when I met the man who would be my husband, that was part of it. When we had kids years later, that further reaffirmed and solidified the establishment of my own life, separate from the one I’d come from. I desperately wish for the day when I feel like I am on the right track to establish a good home for my kids, and a good life for myself, so my kids will be able to be inspired to do the same, if not better, when they are old enough.
As a mother, I am also the source of comfort for my children.
To be honest, I have a hard time with this sometimes, because I am the kind of person who doesn’t believe there should be sin and heartbreak and trouble in this world, for all of my attempts to avoid it. I’ve learned by my age, now, however, I can only be a true source of comfort for my kids if I put my own trust in God, and lean on him.
With ISIS, terrorism, fear, and general disagreements around the world, it is hard not to be crippled by fear. As a mother, my kids turn to me to ward off the boogeyman under the bed and I am staring at the real-life version on the news station. I love my kids dearly, and I cling to them, but I also have to be the one who, on the other side of comfort, push them towards trouble. I cannot keep my children at my heels my entire life. I must teach them to be smart, to be brave, to be willing to be open and vulnerable, to be unsure and still take that leap of faith.
I like to think I am doing a good job, but I do not feel so brave myself. I want to go and curl up in my own mother’s lap still.
In literature, mothers are often a point of honor for the hero. Mothers are a rallying point, a point where a hero can go and be refreshed, taken care of, encouraged, and regain hope. When they are missing in stories, or the mother is a cruel figure, I often feel like the mother becomes almost like a martyr, an ideal, which the hero is searching to aspire to and earn.
There’s something about a mom that’s hard to put into words.
That’s why we have a whole day dedicated to them. We need mothers. I certainly need mine, and I hope my kids will always need me too.
Happy Mother’s Day!