Evelyn Hannon: Aging Disgracefully


International Woman's Day 2013

Celebrating Mother Love Around the World

As most of you know my day job is as a travel journalist. In that capacity I've visited close to 70 countries on seven continents. My goal as a writer is to inspire other women to step out their door and explore our great big world—solo, with their partners, and with their families.  

As I've travelled I've had the sweet experience of observing grandmothers, mothers, and their children interacting in tiny villages, bigger townsm and great big cities around the world. And it's always the same. I've seen first-hand the care, the teaching, the protection, and the love that continuously flows from women to their offspring. I've noticed that no matter where I go, even though dad is a fierce, integral part of the family unit, it is mama that is the central warm heart of the home.

On this International Woman's Day, I'd like to pay tribute to females here and around the world by sharing some of the mother love I've captured with my camera.
Forget the fancy child carriers on sale in North America, this mom out shopping in Guillin, China fashioned her own carrier—an embroidered tablecloth with long cotton straps attached. Her young son, secure in his pouch, was loving his piggyback ride.
On a road leading out of Marrakesh in Morocco, I stopped at a woman's cosmetic co-op. This grandmother and granddaughter working side by side asked me to take their photo. I love the way the little girl is leaning into her grandmother and the gentle way the grandmother is holding her close.
At the local pool a Toronto mother holds her daughter and teaches her how to float. There is absolute sweet confidence written all over the little girl's face. No way will her mom let her go.
In Kariega, South Africa this mom watched over her playful babe and made it very clear to all of us in the safari jeep that we better not get any closer. Our guide had his foot on the gas pedal ready to make a quick exit if necessary.
In Whitehorse, in the Canadian Yukon, I had the pleasure of watching this mom and her daughter perform along with their Native Canadian dance troupe. I marvelled at the fact that this woman danced the complete routine, holding her child close to her body still keeping up with the big male dancers who were just carrying spears.
Fierce mother love. Need I say more? This photo says it all.
Passing through a small town in China I came across this mother who made me smile. She, like my own daughters in Canada, was balancing child care along with doing her day job.
It was a hot, hot day in Salvador, Brazil and walking down the street was Mom carrying her young baby under a sun umbrella. Like every mother of a new baby she had her towel over her shoulder ready for the expected and, the unexpected.
And then the camera was turned on me, the Grandmother, at the airport welcoming my newly adopted granddaughter who has just arrived from Beijing. I wonder what was going through that little girl's mind? I know what I was feeling. Pure, unadulterated love and the promise that, no matter what, I will always look out for her well being.
Happy International Woman's Day 2013!