Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Colours of Motherhood

Off the coast of Mexico is Isla Isabel, a nesting ground for Boobies. Motherhood there is displayed with pride and eagerness as the boobies show-off their eggs or freshly-hatched chicks. Boobies come in different colours in the various sections of this tiny island. Their webbed feet are seen in a multitude of shades of blue, green, yellow and pink. Their beaks vary in shades as well and in hues that do not necessarily match their feet. Like me, these birds love colours.

In the complex relationships of today's society, with same sex marriages, two mother or two father adoptions, working mothers and stay-at-home fathers, each is raising their offsprings in different ways. How does one now define motherhood?

Mothers Day is a relatively new phenomenon and it is celebrated at different times of year around the world, but most commonly in May. Often, little hand drawn cards, the result of schoolroom projects, were brought home and afterwards tucked away by the receiver. Through time, mothers occasionally run across these old cards, and with a smile, place them back in the box or drawer.

My mother was the breadwinner for the twelve years we lived in the Union of South Africa, and during  that time I was raised by nannies. For eight of those years, Linah saw me off to school, had lunch ready and looked after me when I was sick. I went to her with my worries and sorrows and she listened, gave advice and comforted me. Motherhood is certainly not black and white, but a multitude of colours, the colours of love.

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