Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vows of Motherhood

In the middle of the night, while everyone else sleeps, I whisper promises to Nathaniel. The same promises I have whispered to Lucas since the day he was born. Promises that I will love him, always. That I will protect him, always. That he can count on me, always. Promises whispered into newborn ears and kissed into hair, tousled with deep sleep.

The vows of marriage I made to Abel on our wedding day have been uttered just once. These vows, vows of motherhood, have been uttered countless times. As though, because they are too young to understand, too sleepy to comprehend, I need these vows to seep deep down into the hearts and souls of my children.

And, I wonder, in the dark of the night, as I hold my newest baby boy and say my vows and wish for his eyes to close so we can both join the the rest of the world in getting a few hours of sleep, about all the mothers who are holding their newborns tonight. Are they making these same vows? Certainly, though I have no physical recollection, I am confident that my own mother made them to me. That her mother made them to her.

But, what about so many mothers whose life circumstances make it almost impossible to keep those promises? What about the mothers in Haiti tonight? Or in inner-city or rural America. So many mothers who do not know where their next meal will come from or how they will keep their children warm and safe. Dare they whisper these same vows? Dare they make these same promises?

And, as the house remains silent, save for the suckling of my own son, I imagine a world in which every mother has the confidence to whisper these vows of motherhood into the ears of her sleeping children and know that she has the emotional and physical resources to ensure that they remain true.

What a wonderful world that would be.

Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!


  1. This is beautiful! We can all work and pray to make this happen.

  2. I am absolutely in love with this post and feel that it must be published somewhere. I think you could change the wording a bit and send it in to NPR's This I Believe.


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