I heard this poem on a Mother’s Day reel. And when I heard the end of the poem, I fell in love. I have had an empty 11×14 frame in our hallway next to my kid’s bathroom and this felt perfect for it. As I begun the design process for a worthy printable in my home, I ended up creating something much more powerful than the poem itself. At the bottom is a download button for the printable!
The poem is an anonymous author:
I saw a young mother
With eyes full of laughter
And two little shadows
Came following after.
Wherever she moved,
They were always right there
Holding onto her skirts,
Hanging onto her chair.
Before her, behind her—
An adhesive pair.
“Don’t you ever get weary
As, day after day,
your two little tagalongs
Get in your way?”
She smiled as she shook
Her pretty young head,
And I’ll always remember
The words that she said.
“It’s good to have shadows
That run when you run,
That laugh when you’re happy
And hum when you hum—
For you only have shadows
When your life’s filled with sun.”
As I pulled up Illustrator to get designing a printable for my hallway, it came together so perfectly as I considered the mother figures in the scriptures I find as truly amazing exemplars of shining light and goodness. You can see my breakdown on the second image.
I made sure to add symbolism every place I designed in the piece. Here is what each means:
The Symbol of 8
The number 8 has strong symbolic significance in the scriptures. It means renewal, rebirth, a new beginning. This number is used almost exclusively throughout the artwork — 8 pointed suns, 8 waves on each side, 8 branches total. We become new creations renewed by Christ’s sacrifice and I need that renewal so often as a mother.
The 4 Suns — Heavenly Mother
This 8-pointed sun has the shape of the sacred star symbol that is made up of two squares and a circle. This symbol is used frequently in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint temples throughout the world. Read more about it here, this article is fascinating.
The Day Star, or the Sun, is the greatest star that rises in the morning. The Son of God is our source of all light and life. Through Him is how we achieve renewal and rebirth.
I have 4 suns placed on this artwork to depict the Godhead: Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we cherish in the knowledge that we come from both a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother and I wanted to give her a distinct spot in this beautiful poem all about motherhood. I find myself more connected to Her as I have trudged through the loneliness and hardships of motherhood and am so grateful I have a belief in a powerful, loving spiritual Mother to guide me on this difficult journey of being a mother.
Eden Tree — Eve
The leave branches symbolize the tree in Eden that Eve valiantly partook so that the plan for our happiness and salvation could move forward. She introduced the conditions requisite for our growth and exaltation. She is the mother of all living and her sacrifice to forgo comfort and accept hardship for the betterment of her children (and for the betterment of herself) is the kind of mom I want to be.
I don’t think this means we lose ourselves in our motherhood or become a martyr to it. I think Eve knew that in order to become her greatest potential and to continue the family of God’s children, she needed to do what others couldn’t. That takes such faith I hope to have as I mother my own children.
Bethlehem Star — Mary
Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is an important woman to try to emulate. This abstract Bethlehem-like star reminds us of her bravery and her submission to the Father’s will to continue the path for our redemption.
I love anywhere in the scriptures that talk about Mary. She may have had questions but she never did doubt the power of God and His will in her life. She was accepting to all the outrageous things that turned her life upside down and she is a mother I want to be more like.
Living Water — Samarian Woman at the Well
In John 4, Jesus openly proclaims Himself as the Messiah first to a woman. The waves remind us of the Living Water that Christ is for each of us and reminds us of this imperfect woman who Christ trusted to spread the word throughout Samaria.
I didn’t have a way to portray Mary Magdalene in this printable, but with the woman of Samaria, she was another woman who Jesus presented Himself, His ressurected self, first to and who was with Jesus every step of the way to His death. I love how many amazing women in Jesus’ time we have to look up to and learn from, whether they specifically say if they are mother to children or not.
A Mighty Nation — Mothers of the 12 Tribes
There are 3 points for each corner which adds up to 12. The 4 wives of Jacob (Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, and Zilpah) brought forth the 12 tribes of Israel — a mighty nation that became Jehovah’s covenant people and Christ’s lineage.
While studying the Old Testament this year for Come Follow Me, I had to find a way to add the 4 mothers of the House of Israel. Even though their family was not perfect by any means, they raised men that became the most powerful covenant group in their time that has continued to grow since then. Such mighty women who perservered, forgived, and were loyal to their God.
Jesus Christ — 4 Corners of the Earth
There are 4 distinct corners to signify that Jesus Christ will be known as our Savior throughout the entire Earth at His Second Coming. Although Jesus Christ is not technically a woman or a mother, He is definitely someone worth representing in this printable, which is pretty much everywhere in this piece.
I love all these subtle meanings behind this printable that you wouldn’t know unless you knew and each time I am sitting on the floor, watching my kids play in the bathtub, I can look up at this printable and remember that my two little tagalong shadows will follow me as I strive to walk in these amazing Womens footsteps.