By now, you'll know about Her Bad Mother's nephew, Tanner. Six years old, crayola wall-artist, Wonder Baby's, number one fan... and... not long for this world...
Whenever anyone posits a universal experience for motherhood, I resist the idea vehemently. I truly believe that in another culture or context my experience would be quite different. I am white. I am priveleged. I am well-educated. All this informs my role as a mother.
Sure, there are many experiences that bring us together--commonality of experience is what makes our blogging community so strong and supportive, I believe. But universals? No.
Except for that one unspeakable thing that transgresses all cultural and linguistic boundaries. The unthinkable thing that all parents fear totally--the death of one's child.
When I was a child, my baby sister, Zoe, died of SIDS. I was nine, my brother, seven. As kids, we suffered, we mourned, but we bounced back as children do. Now a parent, I look back on how my parents coped--especially my mother. Her breasts ached for weeks with unreleased milk. It's.... unspeakable.
She and my father strived to create an atmosphere of normality for us--especially that first Christmas, mere weeks after it all happened. Santa was unbelievably generous that year...
And now another Mother. Another Father. Another Family. Coping with what we all live in complete and universal fear of.
And yet still, a brilliant and vibrant little boy, Tanner, whose energy is bringing so many of us together.
This weekend, do take a little time to honor Tanner, and check out the auction ambitiously put together by the untiring Kristen of Motherhood Uncensored--all proceeds go to Muscular Dystrophy Research. If you cannot participate in the auction, then do consider a direct donation to M.D. Research in Tanner's name.