A very close friend of mine once told me something that plays in my mind from time to time, when I see my wife play with our baby. He told me that the eldest child will always remain special to a mother in one way. The eldest child is the one who grants the mother the gift of motherhood. The eldest child is the first person to ever call her, mother. That, will always stay in her memory, my friend said.
From the very day that we were born, till the day the call comes to meet our creator, this special breed of women known to all, as mothers, have always been around us. They brought us out into this world, literally. They fed us, irrespective of the hour. They cleaned us and after us, regardless of the mess we made. They comforted us when we were upset. They instilled us with good and positive values. They taught us our first word. They sang our first nursery rhyme. They simply remained at an arm’s length away, from us.
As we learned to crawl, walk and run, mothers would remain at an arm’s length away, keeping an eye on our every move, if possible, every second of the day. They would hover around us as we took our little baby steps, trying to keep us safe yet at the same time prompting us to figure out how to walk on our own. They encouraged us to befriend that other baby, toddler or child. They inculcated in us to politely greet our elders and people around us. They reminded us to say thank you when someone did something for us. They prompted us to give hugs, kisses and say our good-byes to our elders and those around us, when it was time to part ways. They gave us disapproving looks when we were up to no good and reprimanded us when we did something wrong.
As we grew up from a toddler to a child, they held our hands as we took our first step into playschool, nursery, kindergarten and then school. They would have struggled, to let go of our hands. They would have fought to keep their tears of joy at bay, seeing us all dressed up, with our bag full of stationery and books, ready for school. They would have packed food and water, enough to feed at least two, as we prepared to leave for school. They would have reminded us of a plethora of things as we left for school, from study hard and listen to your teacher to don’t forget to eat your food on time. They remained then, only an arm’s length away.
As we moved into our teens, they kept doing the things that they have always been doing for us through our childhood. Getting our clothes washed, preparing our meals, reminding us of any number of things that we need to do or may have forgotten to do, buying us anything that we may need and so much more. They would laugh at our jokes when we shared one with them, cheer us on to our victories when we invited them along, comfort us after a long day when we allowed them to do so and give us precious advice when we gave them the opportunity to do so. They would long to have a conversation with us, to listen to us speak like we spoke to them during our childhood and to simply allow them into our lives. No matter what, they remained only an arm’s length away.
Then, as we became adults, they continued to do things that they have done for us, from birth through childhood and the teens. They continued to mother us at a time when we feel that we are old enough to fend for ourselves. They continued mothering us even when we became parents ourselves. They would still cook and feed us. They would still wash for us. They would still clean up after us. They would still offer us advice. They would still remind us of any number of things that needs remembering. They would still nurse us through our illness. They would always be proud with all that we have accomplished and continue to do. They would simply be happy to have us around them. No matter our age or station in life, they remained only an arm’s length away.
This special breed of women, known as mothers, can never stop mothering us. It is in-built in them, from the moment they introduced us to this world till their last breath. They would have made sacrifices from their career, leisure, hobbies, interests and others, just so they can be our mothers. The price that they may have paid to remain as our mothers might have been steep. Many would have made this journey as a mother, together with their husbands. Some might not have been so lucky for various reasons and would have walked alone in the journey of motherhood, as a single mother. Yet, if you were to ask them, they would say that they would have done it all over again, just to mother us. They would always want to remain only at an arm’s length away from their children.
For all that this special breed of women have done and will continue to do in their lives, they don’t really expect anything or much, in return. They don’t expect huge and expensive gifts or lavish and grand dinners. They don’t expect to be served at their every beck and call or to be taken out for dazzling and wonderful holidays. They don’t expect to be treated to a relaxing and gentle massage or be given a bouquet of fragrant and beautiful flowers. All they would probably want, is the opportunity to mother us and be in touch with us.
A call just to say hello would not hurt. A visit to meet them in person would be wonderful. It would not harm us to spend a little time with our mother, not when they have spent almost their entire adult life with us. Remembering our mothers, be it one single day in the year or every day of the year, would not take much of our time. Allowing them to remain a part of our life rather than apart from our life, would not cost much, not when they have paid a much higher price, being our mother. After all, all that they may want, is to be able to mother us and be only at an arm’s length away, be it in person or simply in thought.
So, on this Mother’s Day, I would like to wish this special breed of women, known to us all as mothers, a very Happy Mother’s Day. To my dear friends and relatives who are mothers, keep up the great job mothering your children and yes, your husbands too. To my mother-in-law, thank you for mothering a great woman, whom I am proud to call my wife. To my dear wife, thank you for being a great mother to our baby and yes, for mothering me as well. Most importantly, to my dearest mother, thank you for being my mother and for continuing to mother me, even when I am very certain and adamant that I am old and wise enough, to not need mothering anymore.
P.S.: The featured image was sourced from Pexels.