It’s almost like waking up from a long dream, this business of motherhood. When I gave birth to my son, I never expected to feel such pain and distress, although I was fully anesthetized during his delivery. It would not do even that I had people around me, especially my husband, willing to help ease whatever it was that discomfited me. There was just an overwhelming amount of physical hurt that my body was trying to bear up, and I sometimes found myself crying and gnashing my teeth in angry silence. But slowly, everything seemed to alleviate.
One day, I found myself getting much stronger and ready to appreciate life again. The years that followed with our little baby seemed to hover and pass before our eyes. It felt like I was in a sweet limbo, a dream of thousand nights when I’ve cradled him in my arms, fed him close to my body until he is sated over, and ready to fall into an oblivious slumber again. Soft hushed-up moments of being with him, when all I could hear was his impassioned breathing, and the gradual struggle of the body for nourishment and life.
I have attached a great importance to these instances. Of course, there too, were those fine qualities that a mother would most readily admire and esteem about in her offspring. I smiled and closed my eyes at the beauty of it, an emotional bliss that lulled me into a long almost interminable sleep, recreating scenes in my heart, with deadened intensity, like a mime or a silent movie, interrupted every then and now by only the faintest mewling, but never really quite remembering the terrible physical suffering once attached to it.
Many years and sleep nights later, another day breaks with such zealous light and a jolting sense of something raw. I stir from all the softness, and welcome a new, harsh reality. A baby girl. Came nine months of the same anxiety and discomfort, all over again, or maybe even worse. I cannot begin to say how bad it was, as I never tried to look at it that way. But the pain that I thought I’ve most certainly forgotten, well, it was still there to remind me after all.
Of how it is to be human, and to relinquish fear.
It's been five years since, and today I am rearing up a wonderful daughter and son who would eventually cast a shadow over those months that I’ve had to endure. Presently, a long restful sleep will do me good, far from being with child.
Gabriel is almost five and has gone away to school. He asks never-ending questions of everything he sees, why or how they came to be. He watches Discovery Channel and talks about caves and mummies. It scares me that we don’t have the answers to all his curiosity, but we will go to lengths for his learning, while we are around to guide him. He exhibits an odd temperament that my husband says screams of Me. Sure enough, I am slowly recognizing myself in the many things he does, in the way he sharply looks sideways with a pout when asked to repeat what he said. My impatience. It tells me to check on myself, lest he grows up to be as dark-minded as his mother .
On the other hand, is a sunny girl, Sophia. Always going about with much gaiety, like her father. Her little childish laughter resonates around the house, it would be a shame not to smile about it, if at least in secret. Sometimes, she exhausts me, with her boundless energy, but never in a way, that I would give up enjoying her smarts or unreserved affection. Laughter should be indispensable in a home, shouldn't it? And I would like my children to always laugh, and guffaw if they had to, for what it's worth.
Many days I wake up with a worrying fit, of how my children will fare, of how we can make it better for both of them. It burns a hole in my head, and pushes me to fight for it. But other mornings, I become easy, feeling I can leave it all up to fate, as I stir and become aware of them nearby. All I can just say, is that life is odd, and phenomenal.