MMM: Happy Mother's Day!

Until I was a mother,
I never truly understood
the miracle of life...
like how a hand could be so tiny 
and how a cheek could feel so soft
to my kisses...
and how a little head 
could smell so good
and feel so warm against my face.
Until I was a mother,
I never truly realized 
that a tiny baby could fill my heart with so much love.
~Lee Franklin

 My mother sent me this card in the mail when I was about 4 months pregnant with Violeta. I remember reading it and then getting very teary eyed (and no, I wasn't one of those stereotypical pregnant women who cried for every little thing). The concept of having a baby seemed very real to me at that moment, and it made me think about what I was about to experience.

I remember when I was growing up and some of the typical phrases my mother would lay on me from time to time: "Wait till you're a mother", "You're not a mother, you can't understand", "If you ever have kids, you'll know what I'm talking about", or my favorite, "The love you have for your child is like no other." With every one of these lines came an eye roll. I thought that I did understand and it annoyed me to hear her (and other women for that matter) say things like this. But it's true. When you have a child you do change. You suddenly get it, you empathize with others in a way you hadn't before, and you have an unspoken understanding with other mothers.  No longer do you judge the parents on the plane with the screaming child. No longer do you laugh at the person who tears up when talking about their children's accomplishments. Why? Because you've become them. You know what it's like to suddenly become number two, and anything you have to sacrifice is well worth it because it's for your child. And yes, the big cliche is true...The love you have for your child is like no other.

Since I've only been a mother for a year now, I can't speak like an expert. I've only just started and there's so much more left to go through. Although I'm still the same person with the same interests, a lot has changed for me.  I feel much stronger in that I can juggle a lot more now (and function on minimal sleep), yet I feel weaker in the sense that my heart is more fragile. As I write that I cringe, thinking how cheesy it must sound. But it's true. Motherhood gives you an overdose of emotions that you never thought you could feel. Everything intensifies. The concept of love takes on a whole new meaning, as does excitement and fear. I can definitely say it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. One of my fond memories was telling my good friend Lily that I had had a girl. Her response was different from others, "I love it when strong women bring other strong women into the world." These were such special and inspiring words to hear. Women, especially mothers, are a strong race.

As I think ahead of all the events that are in store for me as a mother, I can only hope to do half the job that my own mother did. She raised 4 children on her own without a partner, and it wasn't easy by any means. Of course everyone thinks that their mother is the best, but I know that my mother surpassed that of anyone else I've ever met. Because of the example I received, I feel confident that I will be able to endure anything that comes my way during this journey. Thank you, Mom!

                                    Happy Mothers Day!
                                                                          ~Nicole & Violeta

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