Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Belated Blog Post about Mother's Day

I hope everyone had a nice mother’s day. I did; I was able to celebrate both with my mother and with my children. However, as much as I love my mom and my children, that's not what this post is about. I feel more comfortable expressing my love in a less-public way. Instead, I just wanted to share a three-bullet point ramble about my thoughts on motherhood.

• A week after Eli was born we had his bris. Our family and friends were all gathered, and it was time for the ceremony. So my innocent baby was about to be introduced to the concept of pain. I had trouble handing him over, but my mom came up to me and suggested we stand out in the hallway. That way I wouldn’t have to watch him get cut. While we were waiting she said, “That’s the thing about motherhood. There will always be someone whose well-being you value over your own.”

I had only been a mother for a week, but I knew without a doubt she was right.

• Below is a passage from Starring in the Movie of My Life – forgive me if it’s pretentious to quote myself. But when I wrote this I tried to capture how I felt when I heard Eli’s cry for the first time. It’s my best shot, even if technically it’s fiction.

Have I ever given anything, everything I’ve got? “Everything” is one of those concepts that is beyond the human imagination, like the endlessness of outer space or the finality of death. I don’t even begin to know what everything is. But now is the moment to find out. Now is the time to push ahead because going back is impossible or at the very least, ill-advised. So I push and in an explosion she’s here, crying and suddenly, her cry is the best sound I have ever heard. It means she’s real, she’s complete; she’s alive. And now I know what everything is.

• One of my favorite parts of the Harry Potter series is Rowling's understated focus on the love between mother and child, how a mother will sacrifice herself for her son, and love him even in death. This passage moved me to tears the first time I read it:

Lily’s smile was widest of all. She pushed her long hair back as she drew close to him, and her green eyes, so like his, searched his face hungrily, as though she would never be able to look at him enough.
“You’ve been so brave.”
He could not speak. His eyes feasted on her, and he thought that he would like to stand there and look at her forever, and that would be enough.”

-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by JK Rowling - page 699

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