Aging Gracefully Like a Kind Mother
Clothespins have long held a special meaning for me. The humble, wooden clothespin, for me, represents the resilience of motherhood. When I see a clothespin, I am immediately brought back to my childhood and watching my mother go about her daily chores. Coming from a large family, laundry was a never ending task for my mother, She hung the wash on the line all year long. If the weather was cooperative, the laundry went outside. Sometimes, to stay ahead of it on a particular day, she would even ask my neighbour if she could use his line too.
I wonder how many clothespins passed through her hands? How many articles of clothing were lovingly pinned in place knowing she was taking good care of her family?
I think of all the women whose job it was to run the household. Who worked day in, day out with no break and never complained about not having enough "me time." How many women put their hopes and dreams on the back burner? How many women didn't even have the opportunity to explore their hopes and dreams in a time when there were fewer opportunities?
How many women simply settled into their role as mother and wife happily and contentedly?
My mother worked for one year as a school teacher in Pool's Island. I've heard stories that the Christmas concert that year was the best one ever. She was a natural nurturer. She was creative and talented. She loved cooking favourite meals for her family and extended family. She would never let Dad leave for a meeting or conference without having his clothes perfectly pressed (that would have reflected poorly on her, in her eyes). Her happiness and sense of pride came from doing things for her family.
That's a long-winded story for a simple, little clothespin.