It’s been over seven months since I have taken the time to sit down and reflect, write, read… Time is monopolized by the little man in my life and it’s not until I take the moment to pause and look back that I realize how rapidly time is passing. Interestingly, evaluating such speed becomes more striking when observing a life unfolding, a tiny creature blooming into une toute petite personne, or perhaps more relevantly, a life that you hold ever so preciously in your heart. Thus it is when le petit prince sleeps that I steal a minute or two to myself, and today, I would like to revisit and explore some of the thoughts that I have visited with in the last few months.
I had promised not to start yet another ‘mummy blog,’ but I do think that it would be rather frigid of me not to mention the new citizen of my heart… and it would hardly be natural to delve into soul politics without repainting my new landscape. It has changed; and dramatically, at that! Becoming a mother is a transformative process; most fascinatingly, you believe to be surrounded by a world of change, but the most significant change comes from within you.
Matei is oblivious to all this. He just knows that I’ve always been around, and when I’m not, I will always be back. He has never known differently, and has already developed that sense of trust from which his love for me has grown. It’s incredible how differently we feel love for one another, and what dumbfounds me even more is that he may not ever understand that difference. Mothers make that sacrifice, of giving away their hearts… and with time we learn that the gift may not always be returned. Yet it doesn’t matter, because giving that love becomes like breathing, living, existing.
In some ways, I think we deify our mothers. We forget they are humans, or perhaps simply don’t realize that they are. I will never forget the day it had finally dawned on me that my mother is not just ‘mama,’ that she is a woman, a person, like myself. I once found her sitting in an armchair, crying after an argument we had. I don’t know if it was her vulnerability at that moment, or simply the way the pink sun had set around her that made her seem so small in that armchair, but there she was. A person. And even more astonishing was that this person had a life, that is, a life with aspects that I wasn’t a part of. Her life was not just me. It overwhelmed me to a sudden instant of breathlessness. In that brief hiatus, everything changed. My mother became mortal, wrought with emotions, feelings, desires, dreams, disappointments…. my cheeks flushed at my newly discovered selfishness. I was seventeen.
Like every mother, I catch myself staring at Matei and wondering… the questions and the dreams and the fears are endless. To a certain extent, I worry about my own vulnerability. Can life ever become too precious? Having experienced loss and witnessed the pain it puts those closest to me through, I question my own strength as a mother now. We learn to keep ourselves grounded from the material things in life, but what about the intangible aspects that give us purpose and meaning? These aspects nurture us as people and foster the love and bonds in human relationships; but, is there a point at which we should be stepping back and shielding our selves? How does one differentiate between that which will break us, and that which will strengthen us as humankind?
He is sleeping as I write this, with dreams that I can only imagine to be sweet and innocent as his life has not yet been tainted with any heartfelt pain, fear or sorrow…, which makes me wonder how there could ever be any resistance to such a delicious nap?!