A Mother’s Duties

What does a mother do when she realizes

that her child will never witness a golden sunset

or the glory of the sun peaking over mountains

to greet the new day, nor will he stand,

slack-jawed, as a jet leaves a smoke

trail across a deep blue sky, or point,

mesmerized as a yellow-stripped bumble bee

frolics from flower to flower?

 

She hugs her son close to her breast and tells

him how intensely he is loved, opening his

senses to the world.

 

What can a mother do when she knows that

her son can barely pick out her smiling face

from the fuzzy world that fills his view,

or the brightly colored toys dangling seductively

overhead, nor the radiant smiles of his brother

and sisters as they greet him in the morning?

 

She uses words to describe the world, guides

his tiny fingers as he explores through touch,

what others experience with eyes, and she tells

him how intensely he is loved.

 

What should a mother do when her son is ready

to crawl, knowing that he will never see the

obstacles in his way until it is too late, or when

he takes that first tentative step and crashes right

into the pointed edge of the piano bench, or when

he wants to go outside and play like his siblings,

but the world is too dangerous?

 

She allows him to fall, just as she did the sighted

ones, for by stumbling we learn to conquer whatever

obstacles jump up to block our progress.

 

More than anything, a mother offers unbridled love.

That’s what a mother does.