One of the biggest surprises about motherhood revealed itself immediately after my daughter was born.

The Native Americans have a term referred to as “Circling the Teepee.”  It is the role of the male when he becomes a father. The woman, the mother who is inside the teepee nursing and caring for the new baby, is watched over and protected by the male, her man. In this way she can devote all her life energy, and focus toward the care and nurturing of the  baby in her arms. The man “blankets” his woman.

Got Your Back MomWhen Samara was born, I immediately realized Teepee Momthat all, and I mean all my energy immediately shifted to the small circle enclosing my heart and breasts and belly. With a bowed head, and winged shoulders I enveloped my daughter in this ancient woman circle all day and through the night.

I suddenly realized that with all of my attention and focus centered in front of me, I had nothing, absolutely nothing left to protect my back. I was completely exposed and there was nothing I could do about it. I knew also that I would stay that way because what I was also doing, was using my body as the shield which stood between the world and my her. That scared the cuss out of me.  As a single mother, there was no one at my back. There was no man circling my teepee.  I had never in my life known such powerless vulnerability.

Here I am 11 years later, and nothing has changed….for me. My daughter is growing, and maturing, and spreading her wings, testing the waters of her independence. She will continue to do so, as is her charge, her destiny. As her mother, as a single mother, a part of me will never change, of progress, or move on.  I will always be willing and prepared to deliver up my self, my body, my back as the shield to anything that might hurt or harm my babe. For that is now and forever, my charge, my destiny.