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Mother’s Day

Unknown Author:

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 childbearing 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 and 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 soufflé or her best crystal without a moment’s 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 herself 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 cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, and not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his 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 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.


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  • bizwhiz

    “For the hand that rocks the cradle
    Is the hand that rules the world.” … William Ross Wallace

    Happy Mother’s Day to you too!

  • meleah rebeccah

    oh my god! thank you so much!

  • Thomas Hamburger Jnr

    Another wonderful piece of writing. Oh dear – another blog I’m going to have to drop by on! No wonder I never have time to write!
    Kind Regards

  • meleah rebeccah

    Hey! Thanks Thomas Hamburger!

  • Anonymous

    happy mothers day !

  • Anonymous

    Fanny is your anonymous blogger

  • meleah rebeccah

    🙂 thanks doll!! same to you

  • BlogmasterPg

    Hi, rebeccah, scuse me for my english language, but i’m writing from Italia and , naturally I’m an italian blogger. I’m a fan of ‘tips an triks new blogger’ site, of Ownl, an american likes You. I see the ‘fire’ on your family, yesterday.. be careful, the next time you’ll must call fire-police… I see some yours interesting photos: you’re so pretty: very impressionant! ( pretty in sense of beautiful, naturally you and yours photos..). I’d like if you want to see my (english blog http://blogmaster.2pt.net or my news blog likes http://berlusconi-blog.blogspot.com (about italian mafia-humor) or my http://geminilion.blogspot.com about my zodiacal sign an others things, but … I wrote you about your ID: MOMMA is not good italian: MAMMA, not MOMMA>; in english language i know Momma speaks mamma but is not good and… God save Queen ( THE QUEEN; FREDDY AND OTHERS, NATURALLY) forever!!!!

  • meleah rebeccah

    Thans for the lovely comment! I love compliments! Thank you.

    I will check out your English blog

    as for the TITLE of my blog, this is WHY I spell it that way:

    When my son was little, he never called me mom, or mommy. He always called me “momma”

    (Pronounced: MOM-MA)

    When I was little I called my grandmother Manga (who passed away this last mothers day of althzhiemers) So, since I made up a name for her, she made up a nickname for me, Mia. As I grew into a teenager I was always Missing In Action, so MIA was / sometimes even now is / still applicable.

    Is Latin for: “my fault” or “my own fault”. In order to emphasize the message, the adjective “maxima” may be inserted, resulting in “mea maxima culpa,” which would translate as “my most [grievous] fault.”

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