Thank Goodness FOR MOTHERHOOD
Motherhood is not a profession you can learn about in a book. It’s not something you inherit from your mother like beautiful hair or strong nails. For some women, motherhood is an overwhelming responsibility. For others, it is a natural stepping stone to another phase in life. Regardless of how you feel about motherhood, once you become a mother, it is a lifetime commitment.
I was raised in a family by a mother whose existence was centered in motherhood. There is something very comforting about knowing you are loved in this way. It is like always having a soft blanket of love—you know it’s there whether you need it or not.
When I was little I loved to play dolls. When I got older, I loved to be around children. I am happiest when I am mothering someone, a trait my younger brother didn’t always appreciate when we were growing up.
My oldest son made a difficult entry into the world. After 24 hours of labor, he burst into my life looking like a boxer. He had forceps marks on his face and body, and one eye was swollen shut. The moment they placed him on my stomach bundled in a blanket, I felt the deep love that comes with holding your first born. Two years later, when I became pregnant again, I wondered how I would be able to have enough love to share with another baby. When my second son was born and placed into my arms, I held the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Once again I experienced that unique kind of love that links a woman with her son.
Thirteen years later, I became a mother again, this time of a beautiful daughter whose arrival in our lives blessed our family with joy. It was wonderful after so many years to once again hold a baby in my arms. My daughter’s sweetness amazed and engulfed me with love. This time around I knew how fast children grow and I cherished every moment I had with her. I became selfish with my time. I found the weeks slipping past me without having accomplished much of anything. Stacks of unfinished articles, short stories and unread books lay on my desk. The wonderful thing about it was that I didn’t feel guilty about doing nothing more than just being her mother. I was older this time around, more secure about my parenting skills, and I worried less and enjoyed my baby more.
I look at my children, now ages 31, 28 and 16, with gratitude and wonder. I am the mother of three very special individuals who radiate a warm feeling from which I draw strength and courage. My first born taught me to be a mother. With him I learned to give unselfishly of my love. My second son guided me into maturity and I learned from being his mother. My daughter is a bright star sent from heaven whose existence fills my heart with awe-inspiring love. Charles Dickens said it best when he said, “I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing, when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.”
My children and now my grandchildren are the core and source of my happiness.
Maria Luisa Salcines