Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Ma!!!


On the occasion of Mother's Day, I thought it apt to share this piece of writing...

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."
"We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"
"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom. However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child.That she would give up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. I want her to know that a caesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love someone who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with their child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

"You'll never regret it," I finally say.

Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

12 comments:

  1. that was a really touching story..
    beautifully represented the love of a mother and the divinity of motherhood

    great work :)

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  2. DD,

    Being a father and now grandfather I was taken back many years to relive what we felt. So true. Hope your daughter reads it.

    Looking for your views on my recent posts.

    Take care

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  3. That was really touching yet very difficult for us to understand as kids. Today I'd my mother say this dialogue to me "you'll kniow when you have kids" and that stays!

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  4. :) no words.. the line I liked most - "becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable"

    for once I am speechless.. god bless you and hope you tell all these things to your daughter :)

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  5. OH my god!
    I'm almost crying!

    Have to get my ma to read this.

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  6. Aww.. that was such a touching story...

    I wud share it with my mom too... its really so meaningful and emotional.

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  7. Its a great piece of writing..true to wach word!!

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  8. loved it. truly madly deeply :)
    caesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor
    superb lines.. blogrollin you.. hope not a prob :) cheers buddy !!:)

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  9. Thanks for sharing this..beautiful and touching...

    moms are something aren't they?
    hats off to all moms!
    Happy Mother's Day for each day is one isnt it?:)

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  10. Thanks guys... I think mothers are the most taken for granted, selfless and God's blessings to all of us... Very truely, where God couldn't be there Himself, He sent mothers...

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  11. I loved and enjoyed reading this post....totally different perspective about motherhood!! thanks for this wonderful post! :)

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  12. Beautiful! Very well written, keep writing.

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