Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Mother Blessing

On Sunday I threw a Mother Blessing for my friend Kim who is due to give birth in July. We held it at the home of my friend Elaine, which was awesome because I don't think I would have had time to do the preperations AND clean my house.

(I brought my camera that night, but the only time I used it was before the guests arrived while Elaine finished decorating the cake with her daughter.)

A Mother Blessing is kind of like a baby shower, except instead of being focused on the baby, playing stupid games, and consumerism, it's about surrounding the new mother with a show of female support and strength, and really recognizing the birth for the transforming experience that it is.

Our culture has become so insane, so fast paced, that we forget to take the time to celebrate and honor the major transitions in life the transformations in our selves. Sure, there are graduation celebrations, bar-mitzvahs and weddings, but often these ceremonies have become either consumer driven, or are crazy alcohol-driven parties.

Not that I have anything against crazy alcohol-driven parties! Sure, those can be a blast!

But we have dropped most of the sincere acknowledgement of the importance of these turning points from our celebrations. And when we do take the time to recognize them, we deepen our sense of self and discover an understanding of what makes life really meaningful.

So, we gathered a group of awesome mothers into a circle, and since Kim works in one of the finest theaters in the country, the circle was filled with a who's-who of San Diego's most awesome theater-moms. It was an honor to be among them once I saw how together they seemed, balancing motherhood and the business of theater, seeming so ambitious and yet how "at ease" they all were.

Kim looked radiant in her wide smile and Earth-Mama-ness.

We all brought or picked from a collection, a bead which we held in our hands as, one by one, we went around the circle. We honored our own mothers and grandmothers, we blessed Kim, and dreamed our dreams for her, and wished for her all good things. Then, we dropped our bead in the bowl and passed it on.

I turned the beads into a necklace for her to wear or have near her during her birth, to remember that we are there with her, that we are supporting her with love and strength.

Kim then gave us an even better gift. She went around the circle telling each one of us the story of how she met us, what she saw in us, the things she admired in each one of us, and why she cherished us in her life. It was awesome and so sweet, and a few tears were shed.

I had had a few other activities planned, but it was clear before too long that what we all really wanted to do was stay in our circle and continue the talk, allowing Kim to ask advice and share her fears, giving her what wisdom we had to share, learning from each other.

It was a lovely evening, and I realized I how much I missed having a circle of women friends in my life like I have had in other communities, at other times in my life. It was so comfortable, so warm, so full of laughter and openess.

Kim wasn't the only Mama who drove home that night feeling lifted up and blessed.


gpc said...

How beautiful. It would be so nice if everyone had such a circle of support--what a wonderful way to gather strength in preparation of childbirth. I am a sucker for rituals, they are powerful beyond our understanding.

Snowbird said...

That sounds so neat. I agree, we all need our female friends to support us, listen to us, give us advice, and just lend us a shoulder when we need it. I would love to have been part of your circle even though I've only met Kim once. I'm sure that Kim will have that necklace very near her when the time comes and it will give her strength. Plus it will also give her lots of great memories in years to come.

Did I ever tell you that you are a beautiful person, Karen, and I am so blessed to have you for my daughter and the mother of my grandchildren?

Cindy said...

What an amazing thing to do. I agree that is so much better than giving her "stuff" she probably doesn't want or need. This will be something she'll treasure forever, I'm sure. What a great friend you are. :)

Jenna said...

What an amazing evening. I can only hope that when my time comes to become a mother I will have such a wonderful circle of women to "hold me up."

Kelley said...

What a fabulous idea! I am glad I stumbled onto your site today via W.W @ 5MforM