Photo: Migrant agricultural worker’s family. Seven children without food. Mother aged thirty-two. Father is a native Californian. Nipomo, California
Taken by Dorothea Lange, Feb/Mar 1936
Library of Congress
Not the most famous of Lange’s photos, but one of the same subject. In another photo taken during this shoot, the mother shown here is nursing the baby she holds on her lap. How she produced any milk given their destitute circumstances is beyond me, but her haggard, aged-beyond-her-years appearance tells a lot.
Happy Mother’s Day, to mothers who survived these kinds of circumstances while birthing and raising children.
Happy Mother’s Day to mothers who are surviving under similar conditions today — like the two mothers who gave birth during the evacuation of Fort McMurray, to the myriad mothers who struggled ferrying their children from Syria and other war zones, to mothers who wonder where their children are and if they’ll ever see them again.
Happy Mother’s Day to mothers of invention and godmothers, and mothers in spirit though not by birth. The creative force isn’t limited by one’s body or economics.