Quotations on Mothering and Grandmothering
page VIII

A fine woman understood that giving her body, even her kiss, meant giving her heart, which was too precious to be bestowed on anyone who would not prove himself worthy, at the very least, by pledging himself in marriage to be her defender and her lover forever. Thus, it is largely through the purity of her morals, self-regulated, that woman wields her influence. Men will always do what is pleasing to women, but only if women suitably control and channel their own considerable sexual power.

Leon Kass in "The End of Courtship"


Marriage [is] not just a bond between two people but a bond between those two people and . . . their children, and their neighbors...lovers must not ... live for themselves alone. They must turn from their gaze at one another back toward the community. . . . The marriage of two lovers joins them to one another, to forebears, to descendants, to the community, to Heaven and earth. It is the fundamental connection without which nothing holds, and trust is its necessity.

Wendell Berry


Childbirth is an experience in a woman’s life that holds the power to transform her forever passing through these powerful gates remembering all the generations of women who walk with her… She is never alone.

Suzanne Arms


The heart of the family is the mother because life comes from her.

Onondaga saying


All children are my children. I teach them the songs and whatever else I can. That's what Grandmothers are for - to teach songs and tell stories and show them the right berries to pick and roots to dig. And also to give them all the love they can stand. No better job in the world than being Grandmother.

Leila Fisher


Being pregnant is like walking over a plank and cable bridge. Behind me, on one bank, is the tribe of women who are not mothers.  They drink coffee, stay up late, skip meals, plan careers, change lovers, study Sanskrit, and write grant proposals for a five-year study of tropical cloud forests.  In front of me, on the other bank, is the tribe of mothers.  They arrive late, leave early, are badly in need of haircuts, talk a lot about nap schedules, know way too much about guinea pigs, and have to hang up now.

Sandra Steingraber in Having Faith: An Ecologists Journey to Motherhood


Handprints On The Wall

One day as I was picking
The toys up off the floor,
I noticed a small hand print
On the wall beside the door.
I knew that it was something
That I'd seen most every day,
But this time when I saw it there
I wanted it to stay.
Then tears welled up inside my eyes,
I knew it wouldn't last
For every mother knows
Her children grow up way too fast.
Just then I put my chores aside
And held my children tight.
I sang to them sweet lullabies
And rocked into the night.
Sometimes we take for granted,
All those things that seem so small.
Like one of God's great treasures...
A small hand print on the wall



Pregnancy is not a disease. It is the ultimate manifestation of health.

Laura Shanley, UC homepage


A mother never realizes that her children are no longer children.

James Agee


For that's what a woman, a mother wants -- to teach her children to take an interest in life. She knows it's safer for them to be interested in other people's happiness than to believe in their own.



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