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Mothering and Cronehood

waning gibbous

Yesterday, I was on my way home from a grueling and excellent Yoga practice, and Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide came on my Pandora station. There’s always been something of this song that I didn’t quite “get”, but yesterday I felt like I understood it for the first time.  

I took my love, and I took it down 

I climbed a mountain and I turned around 

And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills 

Till the landslide brought me down. 


Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love? 

Can the child within my heart rise above? 

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? 

Can I handle the seasons of my life? 

I don’t know… 


Well I’ve been afraid of changing  

‘Casuse I’ve built my life around you. 

But time makes you bolder, 

Children get older 

I’m getting older, too. 

There’s more but I’ll leave it there. If you didn’t hear it in your head as you read that go to Youtube and listen again, it’s a good song. The Fleetwood Mac version, not the Dixie Chicks, you heathen. 

I’m scheduled for hysterectomy in two months. I thought I had a grasp on what Cronehood meant when my chick flew the nest, but I didn’t. I’m glad I started wrapping my head around the concept then, though. This is cronehood, for me. There will be no more children. But it’s more than that. It’s six weeks of having to ask for help, and that is terrifying. 

But time makes you bolder, too. I’m unafraid of speaking my mind in a way I never could have been at 20. And that’s a good thing. There are many good things about cronehood. Yesterday I imagined the familiar three moon phase symbol many pagans use that represents maiden, mother, and crone. Waxing, full, and waning. I imagined my life as a cycle of the moon and wondered what it would look like right now. Waning gibbous, probably. 

Every journey is different, and I am blessed. My boys came over yesterday to pick strawberries with me, hang out, play video games, have dinner. Mothering always runs the gamut of emotions and phases, but if you get to this part of it and you’re still friends, you’d better be counting your blessings. And I am. When I am stuck in bed for six weeks after surgery, these two and my husband will be the ones I rely on, hard as it is for me to rely on anyone. But when my moon is a tiny crescent I’ll need to, and probably more times in between, so maybe this is a lesson in how to need someone, how to be someone other than the helper and caretaker. That’s part of cronehood too… letting the tables start to turn. Letting your children start to help care for you. That, for me at least, is going to be the hardest part.