I picked the oldest daughter up from a girl’s activity; a bunch of 9-11 year olds, doing girly things like jumping rope and crawdad fishing. My youngest son was caterwauling his dismay at being strapped in the barcalounger we call a car seat. Upon entering the car and hearing his complaints, all 5 girls began singing “Silent Night” to soothe the troubled beast. He grew quiet. The song ended. He began crying again. So they started singing again. For the entire trip, 5 girls crooned love songs, Christmas songs, lullabies. When one song ended, a girl would spontaneously begin a new song, and they would all join in. And the whole time, they focused their eyes and music toward the baby, gentling their voices and smiling at him.
I, too, had tears in my eyes. To see Motherhood in embryo, to find quiet in girls who are often loud, obnoxious and selfish, to see the beginnings of Compassion and Understanding, to hear them respond with a primordial urge to calm a baby, these made me love them apart from a Mother loving a Child. It made me love them as a woman loves another woman, as equals. And I loved seeing the woman that my own oldest child may someday become.