In celebration of motherhood — of all types

by in News

I always have mixed feelings at the approach of Mother’s Day – a little sad for not having experienced motherhood myself when I see all its joys and pleasures; and a little glad when I see all its trials and tribulations. I didn’t plan to not be a mother, it just turned out that way. However, I have plenty of motherhood to experience second hand.

My sister is the quintessential example of motherhood at its best. About this, I do not brag. I just say what is so. Although her psych training has played a part in her understanding of what makes a good mother, I can see that it is still difficult to do what is right and loving all the time. A lot of the time it means putting aside her own desires in place of what is beneficial for her children. However, as I have come to see, this brings joy to all and I love to be around them. The two sons of my sister have wives that are excellent mothers – lucky are the kids in those families!

As it turns out, I have recently taken on “motherhood.” Due to the illness of his mother, I am the mother of a 6-year-old, very handsome boy. He has a thick, shiny black coat and huge eyes that are circles of gold. When he turns those gold circle cat eyes on me, it’s hard to say no to anything he wants.

I’ve been used to girl cats and, as I was to find out, they are very different in behavior from boys. I found that girls are more cuddly, loving and quiet while this boy is more adventurous, active, talkative and in motion. If I see him trying to get up to a certain height,  I go over to give him some help. He breaks out in negative noises – doesn’t want any help – after all, he is a boy. When he gets where he’s going, he’ll look down on me with some superior noises as if to say – “see, I made it. I didn’t need no help, I’m a boy.”

He is always wanting to do something or go somewhere. But there are times when he just wants to be near me and receive petting and scratching. Ahhh, heaven – to give such pleasure to this usually active creature and to receive pleasure in return.

The only thing is I found myself saying these phrases to him — phrases that seemed very familiar to me. “It is time to go to bed. I’m not going to tell you again. Now!” “You have to come inside now; If I have to call you again, you won’t like it.” etc, etc. When I realized where I’d heard such phrases, I laughed and laughed. Of course, they were exactly like my mother said to me.

Ellen Van Houten is a Laguna Woods Village resident. Contact her at ellenmay@gmail.com.