This Tim McGraw song has been on the radio recently, and it really caught my attention.
Yeah, it's an idealized picture of life in the country, but what caught me the most was the sense of a man who's mother still held a space for him of peace and welcome and contentment. This is a man who left the farm to make his way up in the world only to realize later (as he must since this is a country song) that what he's really missing is the good life his momma has created with his daddy. So on one hand we've got the end of nursing and a break in that intimate relationship between mother and baby, but on the other hand we've got a grown man looking at his wife and telling her that the good life, the life he wants to live, can be found through his momma's front door. For all the talk I've heard about a nursing mother's breasts - what they symbolize for her and the world around her and the very real benefit they are to her and her child - breasts are, ultimately, not the enduring symbol of motherhood. The platonic ideal of motherhood, or so it seems, is that of a woman perpetually and cheerfully in the kitchen baking bread and layering lasagna and fixing lemonade and rolling out pie crusts and frying chicken. It's an ideal of comfort and warmth and plenty. It's vocational rather than biological. It's the sort of space I hope to hold for my child(ren) someday.