Mother’s Day… I woke up today trying to figure out what that means to me. Not in a Hallmark kind of way, but truly, as the person I am today, in relation to my daughter, what does that mean?
I have always felt that there are two birthdays to be celebrated the day she was born. Her birth itself, and the birth of Taty, the mother. They both happened at the same time, so celebrating Mother’s day is, in a way, celebrating the relationship that was created that very day.
I have worked with kids for over 20 years, and I was always proud of being kind of a chameleon as far as mimicking their parents’ preferences and parenting styles are concerned. I saw my role as an extended, hopefully enriching, version of their parents. Theirs were the decisions, the worries, the major dilemmas. I rarely questioned other people’s choices, because I knew they were doing the best they could and knew how. I was just to bring into their little worlds, experiences that helped expand those choices or supplement them in my own way, not contradict them. I was a temporary guardian of the most important thing in those people’s lives. It made the choices I made while with them, much easier for me. I could spend time having fun with them and loving them without any of the worries that come with motherhood.
So when we decided we would become parents, I was very peaceful about certain choices I had made. Being a mother didn’t have some of the same challenges for me that it did for some people. I waited until I was truly ready and willing to have a complete life change. I had been around kids for so long, that I had been blessed with the chance to observe many amazing parents I could draw ideas and experiences from. I had changed plenty of diapers, I knew not to panic when my child threw up or had a slight temperature because she was teething and I was never intimidated about bringing her home.
There is though, a double edged sword to having been around kids so much, and there were many other concerns that would keep me up at night.. I knew exactly how quickly they grew up, and how incredibly important each and every choice relating to them could be. I also knew to fear every bad thing that had ever happened to any of the kids I knew.
So that day, when my daughter was born, another person emerged.. Taty, the concerned parent. The one who would make choices she thought silly before, who would repeatedly question and re-evaluate even the smallest mistake, and the one who would learn that sometimes we just ride the wave the best we can, no matter where we had planned on going before the wave hit us.
So what is Mother’s Day to me? It is a celebration of a gift. It’s not (just) about getting spoiled, and going out for lunch because we have the “hardest job in the world”. It is so much bigger than that.
It is about celebrating the privilege of being given an opportunity to be the one who helps shape the life of the most incredible little girl! It’s about being kissed by the sweetest baby and watching a smile that lights up the world whenever I make her laugh. It’s about testing my patience and compassion not only at 3 in the afternoon, but also at 3 am, when she decides she will jump backwards on the bed and sing as loudly as she can for 2 hours straight because she is teething and can’t fall asleep.
It’s about being thankful that I can call my own mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day.
It’s about trying to hold on to every single moment (and accumulating thousands of pictures in the process) because I know they will vanish quicker than I can imagine it.
So happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Celebrate all you have been given. Love every moment! Taste every struggle and ponder every choice, and most of all, make the present moment count.
Each day will go by like a breeze on a spring afternoon, and it’s not coming back…