On mothering

I kicked off Mother’s Day weekend on Friday at the MUSC Children’s Hospital with Mary Norton and a lovely group of kids and parents. About three or four times a year, Mary works with the folks at MUSC to put together a purse-making party for children in the hospital and their families. This was my first time participating, and I will definitely do it again.

Mary’s friends set out an array of bags, tassels, fabrics, jewels, feathers and embellishments galore. The children and parents chose their bag and decor and worked with volunteers like Blue Ion’s Robert Prioleau and me to create their own individually designed handbag.

Our first child, a sweet-faced boy with an I.V. pole by his side, set right to work on a purse for his Mom. (He went right for the jewels, and it was beautiful!)

I had the chance to work with a Mom, Sophia, whose daughter was too ill to join us. Together, we decorated two purses, and as we sat side by side chatting with other purse-makers, it occurred to me that making something beautiful with your hands is such a satisfyingly peaceful feeling. In that moment, what you create has your full attention and care. It’s almost like taking a long, deep breath.

I can’t begin to know what these children and their families endure, but I can tell you it’s inspiring to be in their presence. Thanks to Mary and the great people at MUSC for making it happen.

When Sunday rolled around, and I found myself here at home and not with my own Mom (who lives in Ohio), I began thinking of all the important women in my life who have “mothered” and nurtured me. My Mom, of course, gets top billing, not just because she had the supreme pleasure of birthing me (sorry about my big head, Mom) but also because she’s a character, a great storyteller and unafraid to indulge in silliness.

Plus, she’s queen of memorable lines, including this gem: “Is there enough room in the crotch?”

Mom at her surprise 65th birthday party.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom and all of the women who’ve mothered me along the way. I simply wouldn’t be here without you.

4 responses to “On mothering”

  1. My mom used to say, “If you gain an ounce, that won’t fit anymore!” Thanks, mom.

    Seriously, what a labor of love to make purses w/ the kids. I was delighted to read this. I had issues when I was a kid, was in and out of the hospital, and even though I was “too old,” I loved the craft stuff that the hospital staff would do with us. It does help to sit and create, especially when someone is there to work with. A little fellowship goes a long way in healing.

    Thanks for a lovely Mother’s Day post.

  2. What a wonderful gift to give to your mother…the sharing of time with those who needed you…she no doubt is proud of you…and why not…you exemplify what she has taught you. May your week be filled with as much beauty as you have given.

  3. I like this Jenny. It’s sweet!

  4. I am so proud of you-giving, giving, giving when we can’t be together!! I believe I “cooked” a good one;
    lol, mom

%d bloggers like this: