Maternal Figures

Maternal Figures by Liel Huppert - Photo by Charlotte Daniels

We think of the word “maternal” as meaning a motherly figure or parental person in our lives, but people from our everyday lives can be maternal figures: our friends, role models, mentors, teachers, or that kind person you bump into at the coffee shop all can act as maternal figures to us.

Role models can be incredible maternal figures. The people we look up to have an effect on us that almost no one else can. We look up to people that inspire us or spark something in us, a passion or love, if you may. Often, people we look up to are famous. They have a whole group of fans, and you can say that these fans are like a family. We hang onto these role models’ every word like it’ll save our lives.

Teachers are similar to role models; what do teachers do? They teach us! They advise us and try to make sure we enter the world well-prepared. If that isn’t a maternal example, I don’t know what is.

Even the random kind person in the coffee shop can serve as a maternal figure. A lot of people, especially children, are told not to talk to strangers, right? Yet, there are those few strangers with whom we come into contact unexpectedly, who make a strong impression on us. Talking to someone forms a connection with that person. We may not realize it, but when we meet someone new, we focus on their words more than we do the words of people we talk to every day. Our efforts to make a good impression make us incredible listeners. We take what these strangers say very seriously, and there’s a good chance they are doing the exact same thing to us. Advice from these special people tends to stick in our heads for a long time because we don’t know whether we will hear it from them again. Generally, advice is something we get from parental figures whether we like it or not.

Our friends are also really significant maternal figures; we trust these people with our deepest secrets, our most embarrassing experiences, and our lives. They take care of us like we are their family. Indeed, I believe friends are family. You can’t deny that we listen to our friends more than we listen to our actual parents. There’s something about our friends that make us think that they “get” us.

The strongest maternal figures in my own life are my friends and teachers. My friends do so much for me and always have the best advice. When I crashed a car into a tree, I called two of my friends. They comforted me and told me stories about tricky situations of their own. They made me laugh and told me how I could do better next time. No matter what I’m going through, they always seem to have some sort of solution.

My teachers bring out the best in my work. When I think I’m finished with an assignment, they help me invest more in any project. I was having a hard time succeeding with an autobiography project because it’s really hard for me to write about myself. However, Chris, my advisor, helped me through it and gave me alternatives for word choice, making the process much easier.

Now you see, we can find maternal figures everywhere. Make sure to listen what they have to say!

I’d like to honor my friends: Kellen, Sandy, Katie, Preston, Jay, Jaden, Laura, Reiker, Pikachu (Andrea), Hannah, Alana, Aimee, Nehki, Cub (Connor), Darko, Owen, and Alex.

Accompanying Photo: Woman and Window By Charlotte Daniels
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