Here, many things may be lacking: Enough schools. Access to clean water. Sound medical care. Good coffee.
But, there’s an abundance of many others: Ridiculously happy children. Compassionate people. Sticky rice.
And loving mothers. Mothers who, against all forces, care for, raise and appreciate their children.
Teenage mothers. Elderly mothers. Surrogate village mothers. Mothers who spend their hours nursing, singing, dancing and playing with their children. Mothers who come home from the fields to cook and care for their children, to hold them and sing them to sleep. Mothers who pick their kids up when they fall, brush off their naked bottoms, and send them on their way.
And it’s inspiring. I know I’ll never be a Lao mother; I come from a much more privileged place in life and my children will have far more innate opportunities. But I hope that someday I, too, can be like them.
These mothers that care not just with gifts and expensive music classes. Not just with private schools and trips to the museum; with expensive foods and organic clothes. Undereducated, underpaid and underserved mothers who care just with what they have: their maternalness.
Their natural motherness to love their children, to nurture them and watch them grow. To appreciate their challenges, their triumphs and their growths.
To brush off their bottoms, to hold them close, to sing in their ears at night.