Every part of you belongs to you.
–ILU-486, by Amanda Ching
It’s Mother’s Day. And while I’d love to just post a happy one to all the mothers out there, whether to children of their own womb, adopted, fur-babies, or creative projects, and be done with it, I cannot.
For there is a war on parents.
We are all parents. Whether child-free or child-abundant, we all nurture something, we all help something grow. I’m as much a parent to my books as I am to my dog, Tyee, and as much as I will be when my partner and I finally decide to get down to some egg-fertilizing. My mother is not only parent to me, but to her own creative projects, to her garden, to Tyee, to my partner though we’ve not gotten hitched. We are also parents to ourselves, once we leave the nest: setting bedtimes, setting chores, comforting ourselves when we’re down, rewarding good behaviour. We have to be, because such a relationship with friends or partners can be dangerous.
This is a lesson I learned from Demeter when I went to Spring Mysteries. I saw Her in Her shrine, and She told me this. I wanted to know how I could be a better daughter to my mom, and She told me that we are all parents — and to speak to Her daughter.
Something I’ve learned on my own time is that while we are all parents to something, what we are parents to is a choice. And it should be. We should be able to choose who or what we will nurture.
If you choose not to have children so you can instead direct your energy to nurturing your own life, your garden, your cooking skills, your hiking time, your skee ball skills…whatever you choose to nurture, that’s what you’re parenting. And it’s all good. No one should ever have the power to control this choice for you.
If you choose to have children, you get to choose when. This is a human right given to us by the gods Themselves — or the Universe, or Chance, or whatever you ascribe to (let’s not forget the Abrahamic God isn’t even pro-life) — for even before we had doctors giving us birth control, there were herbal options to reduce fertility or produce a miscarriage.
That right has only ever been taken away by people who are convinced the gods (or “God”) is talking to them. Controlling a person’s right to choose to have children or not is a human ill.