It is frustrating to me that there are no words that adequately describes motherhood. Not an idiom or simile or run on sentence that could ever encompass the enormity of being ‘Mom’.
You can never know until you know.
Which is obnoxious as hell to hear if you are one of those not in the know. You imagine, “Well maybe I don’t know, but I have an idea…”
But you don’t. Not a clue. Sorry.
I used to be one of those woman who thought they knew. Thought I could predict what kind of mother I would be. Thought I knew what a mother’s love was.
In one of those horribly clichéd college gatherings where we wax philosophical, I once surmised that since I was such a strong person, if one of my future children died tragically, I would be able to handle it. I would be okay.
I would so not be okay.
That statement has haunted me since the day I met you Kaya. As though I have jinxed myself. Every time the memory pops into my head, I feel compelled to knock on wood or spit or do something, anything, that will make whatever Supreme Being is out there forget that I ever proclaimed such a thing.
Because from the moment I saw your pasty, bloody, squished face (that happened to be the most stunning thing I had ever seen), I finally knew. I got it. A strong person I may be, but what I could never have imagined, what is indescribable, is the ferocity with which a mother loves.
I have loved as a child, a sibling, a lover and a friend but a mother’s love is unique. It is total. All encompassing. It is immersed in every pore, synapse, and thought. This does not mean that all that I am is mom. Only that I live with a mom filter where skills of empathy, protection and yes, sometimes panic now guide my actions. Mamma love, it is interconnected with all else. It is the vine that wraps around every tree, stump, and branch of the rainforest, forming a reciprocal flow of give and take. Take away one vine, and the other lives can not flourish.
I live more authentically because I am mom. I am a better mom because I am more of me. Symbiosis.
And since it is Mother’s Day, I will leave it at that. For it is not always that poetic and beautiful. Sometimes a vine wraps around and smothers. Sometimes parasites loom. Sometimes there are battles. Oh are there battles… Today though, being a mom is perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Happy Mother’s Day to Me and to all the Mom’s in our Life!
My Nana with Kaya 2006