While riding the New York City subway one cold winter evening, I watched an unassuming mother enter the train car with her husband and three teenage children. They were obviously from another country, and I didn’t understand their language, but I was unusually touched by this mother’s demeanor.
Her husband and children all listened intently as she softly spoke while steadying herself with a firm grip on a metal bar high above the doorway.
The tall son grasped the hood of his mother’s coat, the husband held his wife’s hand, and the daughters clutched their mother’s arm as the bumpy subway car rattled down the dimly lit track.
Every person in that little group was, in some way, clinging to this woman as they carefully listened to what she was saying.
I had no idea what words she spoke in that particular moment, but I understood the feelings she conveyed by watching the way her family members warmly responded to her message.
Seeing this tender parent hold so tightly to the strong metal bar above the door–with her family surrounding her–was a striking visual image I hope I never forget.
That moment, that picture, reaffirmed to my heart that, as mothers, our families look to us. They cling to us–seeking stability and guidance when the journey seems bumpy and dim.
Mothers provide a constant, steady foundation for the family. And though many of us may feel weak and imperfect–hardly rock-like at all–we simply must resist the urge to feel powerless and undervalued.
We must hold on to the bar. No matter how rough the ride . . . or how long the journey. Our families depend upon it.
QUESTION: How does your family cling to you? What is the bar you hold to when the ride is bumpy? How can we, as mothers, resist the urge to feel powerless and undervalued?
CHALLENGE: Take some time to reflect about your role as a mother. Write down some thoughts about how each member of your family relies on you. When doubts enter your mind about your role or value, remember what you have written.
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