Giving birth to my daughter was a bit like skydiving (yes, I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good plane). You’ve seen people do it. You see them land safely on the ground. But when you’re up in that plane at 10,000 feet with an instructor strapped to your back scooting up to the edge of the plane, readying yourself to drop into the sky, you know you’re crazy.
But you’re already up in the plane well past the point of turning back. So you take a breath, lean forward, and let gravity claim you. Instantly you’re struck by the speed of your descent, the incredible force of rushing wind. Moments later you’re in a cloud. And it’s cool, and damp, and not at all what you imagined all those times you looked out from your window seat.
Then you feel the tapping, your signal to pull the chord. And without a thought you reach and pull. Everything stops as you’re thrown back. The wind quiets and you notice the sunshine. The world looks different from here. And it never looks the same once you’ve fallen through a cloud.
That’s being a mother to me.
What I’ve learned along the way in publishing Edible Cleveland is that “mother” in culinary terms, is just as profound. It is about the essence, the start: the earth, vinegars, yogurts, and sourdough starters. They are the elemental beginning. As a result, our theme isn’t just a nod to the late spring holiday that honors moms; it’s a collection of stories exploring the idea of giving birth to.
In “Living in Holland” Kathy Ames Carr shares for the first time what it’s been like for her as the mother of a child with special needs. You’ll meet Daniel, her son, and be given a brief glimpse into the loving life she and her husband have built to support a boy they were told might never be capable of eating or drinking in the usual way that we all take for granted. The journey of writing this story has been so important to them that Kathy’s husband reached out and asked if he could somehow express his loving gratitude to his wife for finding the words to tell her truth. So here are those words from him to her:
“Thank you for letting your words fall out. They are infinitely more than empty. I am so very proud of how big your Brave is.”
We’d like to second that, Dan. We are so grateful to Kathy and to all of our contributors for the mother stories collected in this spring issue. We hope you come away with a new view of the world.