One of the advantages of being a grandparent in the digital age is receiving a constant stream of pictures of our granddaughter Olivia (born 3/11/18) from our daughter-in-law Sarah. It seems that Sarah is capable of catching every mood on Olivia’s face, whether she is sleeping like an angel, screaming like a banshee, or everything in between. What impresses me most is that, in order to do this, Sarah needs to have her gaze constantly fixed on Olivia so as not to miss any expression on her face. But this is what mothers do—they fix their gaze on their children. No one knows the face of a child like his or her mother. And, as we grow older, we long for the face of our mother to gaze upon us as we accomplish new tasks: “Mommy! Look at me!” What a blessing it is to have your mother’s gaze fall on you!
Ronald Rolheiser reminds us that the word blessing comes from the Latin benedicere, which means to speak well of. He says:
To bless someone is, first of all, to see them, to genuinely see them, to look at them so that they sense that they are truly being recognized and given adequate reality to. Then, and this need not always be put into words but can be present right in that seeing, to bless someone is to take delight in them, to give them the gaze of admiration, to look at them in a way that says: “You are my beloved child, in you I take delight!”
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, let’s be thankful for the gaze of our mothers, a gaze which mirrors the gaze of God, who looks upon us with delight!
Happy Mother’s Day!