A Mother’s Gaze

Mother and daughter.One February afternoon, I was riding the New York City subway, staring out the darkened window, rather melancholy and lost in my own world. Then, the mother and her young daughter to my left caught my attention and revolutionized not only my perspective on the day, but gave me an insight into the gift that a mom is in our lives. It wasn’t like the mom was saying extraordinary things, but it was the way in which she spoke to her daughter, filled with caring attentiveness, her thoughtful manner of inviting her daughter to help her put her make-up on for her date with “daddy’ that night, her loving gaze of delight in her child, her tender smile when her daughter asked funny questions, or her patience in explaining the answers to them.

It was an ordinary day, a very simple moment, made special and unique by love—by simple delight in the gift of another person.  It made me realize in how many hidden and little ways my mom had done the same thing for me: having a gaze of love and delight in the gift of my life and how that loving gaze truly is transformative. Is it not through a mother’s eyes that you first encounter and learn your value, your worth, & your preciousness?  Where you begin to understand your incredible dignity as a human person and the gift that your life is?

On this celebration of our moms this weekend, let’s take a moment to be grateful for their unconditional love and delight in the person that we are and that they have helped us to become. But let us also learn from them—to have a gaze of love upon each person we encounter, recognizing the gift of their life and their dignity.

Happy Mother’s Day!

By Lenore Healy, a WYA HQ Intern.