In these companion pieces, Rachel Hixon of Stack of Plates, writes about her pledge to provide her family comfort. In the first, A Cushion Against the Writhing, she notices her son has forgotten his choir tux. She says,
I quickly began to be irritated and spout off thoughts in my head about his forgetfulness. As I walked over to retrieve the hanging tux, in my path I spied a stack of textbooks on the dining room table. Flashing in my minds eye I could see a 16 year old boy still sitting in his basketball uniform at that table doing homework until 1 am.
My thoughts softened quickly. Chip didn’t need a mom jumping down his throat right now. Chip needed someone to understand his plight and pick up a few of the plates he was dropping. Chip needed a ‘cushion against his writhing’
I came across that phrase in a quote I read some time ago. The quote was actually written about grief, but it spoke to me in another way. It said,“…. grief is a lowly, deep, and violent wound, and the pain so exquisite that every kindness has the potential to be, not consolation for such loss, but perhaps a cushion against the writhing.”
One day Cal walked in with big crocodile tears and sat on the couch. “Cal, what’s going on?” I asked. Through uncontrolled sobs he told me of a boy in the neighborhood who had excluded him from play and said some unkind things to him. I sat down next to him and cuddled him for a bit. As we sat there in silence letting the drops of water wash away the pain I wondered about my job. I wondered about home. Is our home that safe harbor they need. The place they can dock amid the waves and the current and rest for a bit. The place they can always find someone who loves them no matter what.
Sometimes when my response is not sympathetic and my desire to ‘toughen up’ my kids outweighs the colossal compassion it takes to be a mom, I wonder. And while I held that broken hearted little boy in my arms, who would run off and play with that same unkind little boy seconds later, I pledged yet again to make this home the safe harbor that my family needs.
Rachel beautifully illustrates what we feel here at Power of Moms. In addition to all the many roles we fulfill as mothers, we must remember to be, as Rachel says, “the mother that says,’Come sit with me for a minute, I’ll bet you had a rough day’.”