A Mother’s Blessing

Three years ago I shared what I called “A written prayer, a sort of love letter” for my second babe. This is what I wrote for my (very recent) third.

Dear Milo,

This is sort of a blessing and sort of a letter and all of it comes from my love and my faith. You are named after my ancestor, Milo Andrus, who was an early leader of the church I want to be better, but still love. He converted when he was 19 and threw his life at the cause he believed in, serving as a member of Zion’s Camp, a bishop in Nauvoo and the first stake president in St. Louis, a missionary in England, the US, and Canada, and the captain of three wagon trains. He also helped build the Kirtland, Nauvoo, SLC, and St. George temples. Those titles aren’t important to me, but that desire and willingness to journey, and gather, and build even when it’s slow and hard is. I bless you to be this kind of dedicated and this kind of brave, to take journeys when you need to, to help gather and welcome others when they need you to, and to build whatever needs to be built.

Your name, Milo, also means mild, peaceful, calm, and merciful, which are a few more things I hope for you and bless you to embody. There is big strength in them as well as big (albeit quiet) courage.

Your middle name, Snow, is after Eliza R. Snow and Erastus Snow. They both taught me about Heavenly Mother and about truth as reason. I bless you to know both and to love both.

You are my baby in the wilderness. It was hard for me to carry you in a foreign country, and hard for me to give birth to you, even in mine. But I did it. For you. You are worth hard things. And before you were born, your aunt Charity asked our brother, Hyrum, who is on the other side of the veil to watch over you and protect you on your journey here. After you came faster than my midwife could, Charity told me she pictured Hyrum impatient, saying, “Let’s get this show on the road.” I think it might be true.

That quick entrance of yours was (purposefully) made at home. I pray that you may always feel at home with me—who was your body’s first home—and wherever you go in the world, that you can carry those feelings of home with you for yourself and for others, that you can be a comforting and safe presence.

Milo, I want you to know that you are loved and cherished, by me, by your father, by your big siblings, Cora and Søren, by your Heavenly Mother and Father, and by so many others on both sides of the veil. Even more than that, I pray that you will be able to feel that love and that it will be a North Star for your life. Thank you for coming to our family. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, love, love, love,
Mama

Rachel

Rachel is a PhD student in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University. She co-edited _Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings_ with Joanna Brooks and Hannah Wheelwright. She is also a lover of all things books and bikes.

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5 Responses

  1. Elle Mae says:

    Rachel, it’s absolutely perfect.

  2. Arganoil says:

    And lucky little Milo. What a lovely blessing. Speak it out loud to him.

    It is time we allow our voices as women to reach heaven. So the angels and our loved ones that come before us and after us, may hear us. In blessings and healings.

  3. Abby Hansen says:

    That’s really beautiful. I loved the line about home, and your body being his first home. Now I’m teary eyed in a doctor’s office waiting room, coincidentally sitting next to a woman with her own newborn baby in a car seat on the floor. Thanks a lot. Now they probably all think I’m weird.

    Your blessing is beautiful. 🙂

  4. mariejane8 says:

    Read it aloud every year on his birthday.

  5. Beautiful. (Both the baby and the blessing.)

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