In my country, we celebrate Mother's Day on December 8th. It is the day when most Catholics worldwide observe the impossibility (unless you are a believer) of the Immaculate Conception - when Mary, untouched by man, virginal in both body and mind, had God's son implanted into her womb. Made a mother without... well, it seems almost blasphemous to state the obvious but there you have it - made a mother without having had sex. As an afterthought, I've come up with a more elegant turn of phrase - she conceived without having known carnality.
I remember this from always: Come Mother's Day, my father wakes up and thanks my mother for the gift of us, his two daughters and in turn, my mother thanks my father for making her a mother. I always thought that this was such a sweet thing to do. A reminder that for them, it took two to cook us, and two to raise us, and then two turn us into something that to this day, gives them renewed hope and pleasure because so much of them lives on in us. And that by the same token, will continue to live on in our children: my own son, my sister's as yet unborn daughter.
I'd like to think that the road to my motherhood began on a bus ride to Charles de Gaulle airport one cloudy day a few years back, when I was the one to force an issue which my husband said would have required no force.
Blunt as always, bolstered by the knowledge of a terrific couple of days having been spent enjoying each other's company, I turned to my then boyfriend and I said:
Well, are we going to get married or not?
To his credit he didn't skip a beat. At most, he blinked maybe once and said something that had apparently been quite obvious to him if not me.
But I always meant to marry you, didn't you know?
Hello? No, I didn't know. Nevertheless, amongst a slew of any possible replies he could have given me, this was a perfect response. The end of my single-hood. That divine moment of settling into a space in my heart and mind that felt quite utterly, just perfectly right. Him and I and the opening salvo of a life of loving together. It was as clean and immaculate a moment as any fervent believer in the rightness of things could have ever wished.
That was the first step I ever took towards my motherhood.
This morning, as I write this post, I have my 3 year old son chattering madly next to me in between open-mouthed bites of bread and scrambled eggs. He's spanking clean after the shower my husband just gave him and newly dressed in a little white polo shirt and jeans. He's a poster child for all things cute and a living embodiment of everything that is innocent. All the wonder of the world is reflected in those bright brown eyes of his, and I can't find it in myself to tell him that he must continue to eat (a task we struggle with on a daily basis) rather than chat, because I'm enjoying his babbling, sing-songy observations too much. These fingers of mine keep flying across this keyboard even as I sneak another of my never-ending fill of looks on my little boy. For three years now, I've known exactly what my mother has always thanked my father for. It is a miraculous state that of motherhood. As holy as the word implies. I believe in it like I don't believe in many other things.
Though not quite my day yet, I'll thank you now jan for giving us our little boy. Happy mother's day to you too my love. Like I've always said, it was meant to be, and just for the record, I had every intention of marrying you first. So there.
And to all my blogging mothers AND fathers, a Happy Mother's Day to you all.