Happy Mother’s Day! A perfect time for reflection, but the question is what do we reflect on and how? In my case, I fell under the spell of the old adage “Just wail till you have kids…”. I have seen first hand what my wife Ananda does and why she is a terrific mother. I also understand more of what my mother Imtiaz (“Ammi”) did for me.
It starts with the first big thing, which is carrying a baby for 9 months. That is quite an amazing amount of time to go through such incredible physical changes and emotional rollercoasters. Everything is harder, heavier, and squishier. You can’t stand for too long, your bladder can’t last too long, and your muscles ache for so long. But oh the joy when that little bundle of joy comes to change your life dramatically.
Then it’s all the small things. Whenever my mom made chicken curry, she would let me have all the ‘fun’ pieces (like the leg, thigh, or wing) while she ate the ‘bad’ pieces. I would fall asleep in my mom’s lap with her hands clasped around my tummy and she would sit there for hours, part enjoyment, part letting me sleep, part hoping I will fall into a deep slumber. Meanwhile her legs go numb. My mom always had something amazing for me to eat and now I know how long it takes to make all those curries, pastas, desserts and breads all from scratch. My mom would laugh at all the crazy things I’d say, she’d laugh at my jokes even if she had no idea what I was saying, and everytime I slipped, tripped, or fell she would say a little ‘bismillah’ prayer for me. Lastly, when I was in the hospital, she would stay with me and give a long goodnight by holding my head and stroking my hair, even though I was now in grade 9. I loved it, and still do today.
Then I saw the big things. My wife Ananda completely transformed the way she lived her life for our little Nyal and Ryah. She researched every aspect of every thing and went to the pre-natal classes able to answer to any question the instructor had. She spend day and night, 24/7 catering to every little need of our baby for months on end, while always praising the joy she felt was far beyond any inconvenience. She taught me that being a good ‘mom’ is about doing what’s best for the child and not what’s best for me. She created excel sheets that planned out the entire organic food preparation from months 6-12. She looked into all facets of our kids development and growth, even planning what schools and daycares to attend 1-year, 2-years, and 5-years away. She inspires me on a daily basis.
Then there are the things we don’t realize. Mom’s will lay bare their body and soul whenever their child needs it, to the point where they don’t care they are in the middle of the TTC…up goes the shirt to feed. Mom’s will get up in the middle of the night, no matter how tired they are, if they hear their child needs something. Mom’s will catch spit-up food or even vomit in their bare hands. Mom’s will eat all the leftover cold, disrupted food. Mom’s will bring another child (or more!) to add to the already hectic number of balls she is juggling. Mom’s let spit, tub splashes, poo and pea infiltrate their wardrobes. Mom’s take the risk to get bitten. Mom’s risk never looking the same or living the same again. Mom’s allow dozens, nay hundreds of people telling them how to raise their kids or what to do, and just continue to do what they do best….which is to do what they think is best for their kids.
I cannot get over how much my mom did for me. I look with wonder at how much my kids benefit from their mom. Mom’s are the first connection, the most important connection, and the best connection we will ever have. So cherish it, remember it, and honour it.
Thanks Ammi. Thanks Lolli. Thanks to my mommy friends.
Happy Mother’s Day!!