My mother loved babies more than anything. Nothing lit her up more than seeing or holding a baby. Or having her own children, and then grandchildren. The more the merrier. She stopped at 4 children herself because the time and expense and work involved was too much for her. And whatever other reasons she had I was not privy to. I was surprised to find out she had an abortion after my baby sister was born. She wasn’t what most would consider a modern woman, but she had her own mind and a political consciousness that grew as she formed an identity during the rocky 60’s and 70’s.
I know she would be furious now to know that this right is being threatened. We shared our views and I feel her today as I do every day in so many different ways. She was old fashioned yet progressive in her thinking. Practical, caring about the things that matter. Angry at the way patriarchal ways were so often patronizing, oppressive, intrusive.
I loved that part of her. That with all the grace she carried in her life, she could have her opinions and speak up and be adamant and passionate. She loved the fact that I was too. Most of the time. We didn’t agree on everything, but when it came to women’s rights, she was firm in her beliefs.
We talked about how hard it is to have a child when resources are beyond scarce. When a girl or woman is impregnated through the violent trauma of rape, incest, the force of a man’s strength and will. When health issues deem the child’s or the mother’s life beyond reasonable repair. How unfair she would say. How horrific that these women and girls would be forced to have a child under those circumstances.
She would say, motherhood is hard enough.