Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day



Happy Mother's Day to all!!  

Yes, it easily the most important and challenging role in the world, not to speak in hyperbole or anything.

I saw this interesting passage today, which made me think that the challenges and rewards being a mother mimic those of being a runner;

Pleasure at the root of mommy behavior
Experts believe maternal behavior may be fostered by a pleasure system in the brain that involves areas such as the substantia nigra, which creates dopamine, a chemical messenger that interacts with certain brain cells and causes a "feel-good" high. "These are similar brain regions that are activated when a cocaine addict gets a shot of cocaine," said Strathearn said. "So for moms, it may be like having a natural high."

Or, it may be like taking a long run?

So, for Mother's Day, here's a short passage from The Jade Rabbit; the story of Janice Woodward, adopted from China at ten months old by a marathon-running mother,  and then raised in a Detroit suburb.



I remember swarming all over my mom’s lap as a child, almost trying to crawl inside of her, little hands tugging at any bits of flesh that she may have hanging off of her body. This was very difficult since she had nearly no body fat, so what I was left with was the small bit of skin I could pull at on her elbow, and even then only when her arm was straightened.
The more I looked at her and touched her skin, the more questions I had. Why couldn’t I have her eyes? Why couldn’t I have her skin? And, ultimately, why couldn’t I have been in her belly? Mom expressed her regret over this as well: “You are loved by two mothers, I know it.” Mom would say this as if pleading to me, kneeling down in order to look at me eye to eye. I can see her now: a face that hypnotized me, a mirror of acceptance that when I looked into I could confirm that I was. Her hair hung at her side and framed a sincere set of brown eyes that were begging me to believe her. I was loved by two mothers, but yet I wasn’t sure I did believe her, because loved things aren’t given up so easy. But I hated to let her down, to make her feel any guilt, so I didn’t speak on this very often and rarely protested out loud. No, it didn’t feel like love from two mothers: it felt more like double love from one mother and one father who gave me their best.
So, to try and make her proud, I did what she did. I shadowed her career choices, and emulated her as a runner. I tried to learn how she ran, match her beat, sway my arms just like her, and keep her same facial expressions. I even matched her internal dialogue with self talk-expressions like: “Hills, hills, I love hills,” “Light and fast, to the last,” “I am full of energy, I am energy,” “I am full of power, I am power,” and, “I am full of love, I am love.”
But I couldn’t be her no matter how hard I tried. She was smoother than me and had a quicker footstrike that swept over the ground gracefully compared to my pitter-patter of pounding. And my arms always swayed and jerked around, while hers were like well oiled pistons, and pulled at the air in front of her, grabbed a handful, and then dropped it behind.
I excelled in track, and loved the way it was a team sport yet individually driven. During races I would make quick glances to Mom from time to time for affirmations but always felt her eyes on me. “That’s her mother,” others had to say since it wasn’t as obvious as my teammates who usually shared the same bridge of a nose or an arch of their brow with their maternal counterparts.


If you're interested in more, The Jade Rabbit Chapter Nine

Or, buy the whole thing on Kindle for just .99 cents thru Mothers Day.

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