When Yahoo asked me if I knew of any extraordinary love stories for Valentine’s Day, I immediately thought of romantic love.
But while writing someone else’s extraordinary love story, I realized I too had one of my own that began even before I was born.
I always considered myself lucky to have you as my mother when I was growing up. You never were too strict, I could read to my heart’s content, I never had a curfew (and was known by the boys I met in college as the girl with no curfew – little did they know it was because I am such a well-behaved girl, you never had to give me one), and I always knew I could talk to you about my problems. When important things happened to me, I made sure I called you right away, and whenever I embark on something huge, I always want you to be a part of it.
Like all relationships, there were always bumps in the road.
I could be stubborn and headstrong like when I lost myself in a seven-year relationship that was headed nowhere. You didn’t say anything. You didn’t push me to get out of it. You most probably prayed that I would. A lot. And when I came to you crying about it, you cried next to me.
But I never realized just how special you were to me until I had my daughter.
When she was born, I wanted to protect her from the world, even if it was just from the mosquitoes that flew outside my bedroom. I loved her so much, my heart couldn’t seem to contain it. When she was first placed on my chest, I knew my life was never going to be the same again. And I made a silent vow. That I was going to love her and protect her and care for her with every fiber of my being. Forever.
Then one morning, while nursing my newborn, a thought hit me.
This has to be how you felt about me. All the love, all the emotions — as if your heart were delivered alongside the baby. Because now it is walking outside your body — in that precious little one.
And the only thing I could think of was “why?”
Why is it so unfair that mothers are only appreciated when their children have their own kids? Why does it take that long? Why can’t we be born loving them as much as they love us? Unequivocally. Unconditionally. Unselfishly.
But that would go against the selflessness of being a mom, wouldn’t it?
Thank you for making me who I am today, Mama.
And for loving my daughters and dropping everything in your life for them. You are the best mother any well-behaved curfew-less child could ever have and thank you for patiently waiting 32 years for me to realize it.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mama.
I love you with all my overflowing heart.