Friday, May 8, 2009
We are, all of us, Mothers...
This morning I got up four times. Once at 1:30. Then at 2:30. Once more at 4:00. Finally, I got out of bed at 5:30. My sister showed up 15 minutes after that, and we were off to the hospital.
Before I go any further, let’s back up a bit. My nephew, whom we shall call Rollie for the sake of this blog, had to undergo anesthesia for the third time in as many weeks, due to repetitive shifting in the glorious fractures he acquired in the radius and ulna of his cute, fat, little right arm(Please see the above illustration of a similar injury.). When my sister called me about it last night, she explained she would have to get up at four-something in the morning, drive forty-five minutes to downtown, and wait hours and hours while a doctor set and cast her son’s arm.
Most people, when they hear of their loved ones experiencing incidents such as these, offer sympathy and verbal encouragement. But before I could even evaluate the implications of my enlistment, I volunteered to wake up and ride with her to the hospital and stay with her while Rollie underwent his third setting and casting. As a consequence of this volition, I woke up every few hours the night before, because I was afraid I would not wake up in time.
The whole situation, begs the question, “Why did you agree to do this?” It’s simple really. I had to. A deep instinct compelled me, and I realized just how much I love my sister and my nephew. I yielded to the best portion of my feminine nature, I realized I acted in accordance with my most important role as a woman—I am a mother.
No. Rollie is not my son. He’s my sister’s. I don’t have children. I’m not married. I may very well die in a pit of despair, completely alone, on an enormous pile of various scholastic accolades, degrees, books, and films in various formats.
Maybe I should phrase “I am a mother” a little differently. I am a woman. And as a woman, I feel a gargantuan desire to help, protect, and support the people that I love. I guess, when it comes to children, “desire” doesn’t cover it. It is instinctual and reactionary. I feel enormously compelled by some unseen force. I must do the above things when it involves a child. I must. There is not one iota of thought put into it. The need becomes even more intense, because my sister’s children are kin.
I can’t imagine what my sister feels in relation to her own children. That emotion must defy description.
I guess I bring this experience up for several reasons. First and foremost, I am exhausted right now, and I needed an analytical topic to occupy my mind during the slow hours of work, lest I fall asleep at my desk. Secondly, Mother’s day is on Sunday, and I am reminded of my own mother’s love and of the enormous sacrifices she made as a single parent of three. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, because I’m starting to realize the incredible value of my roles as a woman and as a mother.
In times past, I’ve looked upon on “Old Maids” who doted on their nieces and nephews as somewhat pathetic. I assumed they were simply over-compensating for the fact that their own lives lacked substance, in addition to leaching off of their sibling’s ability to marry and bear children.
What a cruel reduction. I am such an ass. Thankfully, justice is getting its due reward. I turn twenty-seven this year, and look who’s leaching now. Ha, Ha.
P.S. Happy Mother's day Mom. And Happy Mother's Day Marissa--it's a first.