Close Quarters (Mother’s Day Reflections)

My mom, my little brother, and me, circa 1970.

This Mother’s Day, I find myself equally grateful for my own mom and for the blessing of being a mom. I wrote the following piece just a little over 20 years ago, when I was expecting my Ben. 

Close Quarters

The baby is so active tonight, dancing his fantastic little dance in my ballroom belly, my own heart beating time. I am suddenly sad at the thought of his birth, of his living anywhere but inside me. We are so close; the connection is so strong. He is so much a part of me.

I am picturing my mother, waking my father, pressing his hand to her tummy and me pressing back. I am remembering her brave, teary smiles on my first days of school (kindergarten, high school, college), and how she fussed with my hair the morning of my wedding day, overjoyed and heartbroken.

How does a mother ever let her baby go? I wonder. So I call mine and I ask her.

She laughs.

And then she asks me if I’m getting any sleep, and if my leg cramps are better, and do I want to go shopping for a stroller tomorrow.

And I tell her that no, I’m not getting any sleep, and no, my legs aren’t better, and yes, I’d like to go shopping

My mom, my Beth, and me, circa 2017.


We hang up and I realize she never answered my question.

How do mothers ever let their babies go?

Maybe they never do.


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