Today I thought about my mama. The day she died, her last few days on Earth. The things we talked about, the things she said. And as usual I cried my eyeballs out, and it was all out ugly crying my eyeballs out.
My 2 year old daughter asked “Why you crying mom? Lulay mommy”. My 5 year old butted in “Mama you have to stop thinking about your mother because its making you cry.”.
Because I wouldn’t stop crying my 2 year old hugged me tight. Her arms stayed wrapped around me for minutes. This is why having children is beautiful. This is why my mother wanted me to have children of my own.
When I was 23 years old, enjoying my life as a single woman, going out with friends, going out of town, traveling, and all out living life to the fullest I told my mother I did not want to have children. Someone from the family was telling me not to have kids anymore and just take care of my niece. I discussed this with my mother, told her maybe I shouldn’t have children because “I do not want to have little versions of myself,” I jokingly told her.
I felt having children had a million and one disadvantages and 5 advantages at the most. I was thinking having children is not for me. That I cannot see having children as something that will make me happy. I thought children will make me sacrifice my freedom, and so much more and I won’t get anything out of it. I was thinking it won’t make me feel fulfilled.
My mom would often scold me and say “You need to have children, loko [crazy]”. She would explain to me that I am saying those things because I haven’t experienced being a mom. She was telling me motherhood is hard, very hard, but it will make me happy. She kept telling me “Matanda na ako, sinong kasama mo sa buhay pag nawala ako? [Im getting old, who will you share your life with when I’m gone?]”.
She would then ask me “If I didn’t have children who will I be talking to me and spending time with like this now?”. And it made sense. When my Dad died it was just me and her at home. As much as I had her, my mom had me. We would talk everyday, when we’re not together we would be talking on the phone. We would watch movies together, go to coffee shops together. She was my best friend and I was like her only friend.
She knew I loved her to the moon and back and that whatever happens she would always have me.
Seeing how much my kids love me now made me realize what my mom wanted me to experience. Seeing my son worry when he saw nurses drawing blood from me for a laboratory test, seeing my daughter’s concern when she’d see my cry made me realize that my mother wanted me to experience the same love I gave her. She wanted me to have little versions of myself who will love their mother too, to the moon and back forever.