It’s little late for Mother’s Day, but I’ve collected some of my scattered thoughts about the concept of ‘mothering’, inspired by a Tweet that me and my friend Amanda Zhang put together.
I have been thinking about how complicated Mother’s Day is as a holiday. Some of us were not raised by our mothers or are estranged from them; some of our mothers are dead; some of us wanted so badly to be mothers but couldn’t. Some of us have different genders and were told we couldn’t be mothers, or our babies were taken away from us by illness, authority figures, or people who did not trust us to care for them. Yet, despite all that, I think that mothering is a powerful force and a concept that can transcend into other relationships.
I have more thoughts on this topic, but for now you can read on to you’ll find that Tweet, and several short pieces:
Both physically and spiritually @mandazhang: shoutout to all the moms who are too far away for us to see today1.
— Jordan Alam (@thecowation) May 11, 2014
We were talking in a coffee shop about horoscopes. Our futures seemed just as complicated as our pasts, and we were living with one foot in either direction. I sipped my hot chocolate; she sipped her tea.
I searched the shelves, hungrily looking for names that sounded desi or desi enough. Names like my father’s – long and many-syllabled – and names cut short by American tongues. Any of my friends would call them “coffee names,” what you would tell a barista or a waiter who had to shout out when your order was ready, and would butcher even uncommon white-sounding names.
My sister had only recently found out that desis were allowed to write literature, and ever since then I had been dropping off more and more books with my step-mom for her to read through.
“Nadia, we’re going,” Malika called out in a harsh whisper. The other library patrons looked up, accusatory, as I responded at a normal volume.
“Just a few more minutes.”
“You sure she’s even done with the last one?”
“You can read two books at once.”
“Yeah, but not fifteen. You’re setting yourself up for fines.”
Who appears in the dreams of women,
Raised by other mothers?
The drama teacher,
Leaning from the purple hammock;
The best friend,
Breathing laughter over the cordless phone.
Her father’s care package, open and unwrapped,
On the kitchen table.
Also, life updates! Last weekend I read at the Smithsonian APA Wiki-Edit-a-Thon, so check out that great recap here. And I am writing a serial story called Dark Spot for SpliceLit, an online literary magazine co-founded by the amazing Veda Kumarjiguda.
And As[I]Am is having a call for content creators that ends next week! If you are a media maker, follow the link and check out how to apply!