Reflections/ “Tough questions” in conversation with my son

seven years ago, I became a mother although my little sister disagrees she says I have always been a mother. hehe, and yes, being a mother does not mean carrying and birthing a child. (only) there is nothing light about doing such a thing! but I say, “only” to illustrate that being a mother is so much more. carrying a child is magical indeed. But one can be a mother without birthing the child as well. Let’s call it “having a mama’s heart.” This is to the mothers who have not carried their children in their womb, and love their children just the same as those who did.

so, coming back to where I was heading with this convo at first, seven years ago I birthed my eldest son. My life changed forever. I was a child myself! Truly I know for sure, my body was grown but my mind had so much catching up to do, and it still does! I feel I haven’t made the best choices I could have gowning up, especially after I became a mother for my son. I was confused, scared, and somewhat alone. Alone in the sense of “alone with my thoughts and feelings,” my idea of establishing a family came crashing down.

My sister said I have always been a mother, and to think of it now, she is right! I have always taken the caregiver role! it was the only way I knew to be and to matter. And to be honest I don’t regret anyone who I have loved and cared for. I did what was natural to me. I wish I had taken care of myself too. I needed my care the most and I was the one child I had neglected all my life.

Sometimes I think about it… have I failed my children by who I choose to be father them? am I responsible for raising them fatherless? yes and no. Yes because I choose to leave because I had to leave! and No because even though I left the marriage I was open to co-parenting. Matter of fact I still am. My only wish is I should not be in the same space. and if I must be there are at least two other parties that must be present. This is not because I’m scared, or perhaps I am just a little bit, but I don’t want to trigger myself by worrying and being uncertain.

My son asked me Mom why did you leave daddy? – sometimes grown-ups can not live together anymore, but you are loved so so much. I told him. but shoot, I was not ready for those questions… but why can’t you be boyfriend and wife again and we all live in the same house? he asked… – we can’t, I said. How do I tell him the truth in a manner that won’t taint his precious mind? – God brought me and your dad together to have you! and you are one of the greatest gifts I could ever have! you and your brother are the most precious part of me. and even though grown-ups can’t live together anymore and be married, they still love their children so much.

If I had waited until I was at least 30 to get married, who says I would have the wisdom I have today? I lived through a life that has taught me what quality life is for me.

“ok, then why can’t you have a new boyfriend?” he asked. wow, the little kid had time today huh? – I am happy with life as it is now and besides I can’t just bring anyone to our life I said. He looked confused, “why not? look just stand outside the house and ask a man to be your boyfriend.” hahaha this kid!! he makes me laugh so much. this boy took the curtains to the side and pointed at a man walking beside the house, “look there is a man” hahaha we both laughed. But he was serious, he laughed because I was laughing like crazy, but he was serious, he didn’t understand why I laughed so hard at his idea of finding a boyfriend. – why do you want me to have a boyfriend? I asked him. “So he can ride a bike with me and play football with me,” he said. – I understand you miss that, and it’s ok that you miss dad. How about you play football with your uncle(my baby brother) and ride a bike with your friends? “but why can’t dad do that with me?” he asked ohh… today was gutting mom’s heart day. but I had to remind myself it was not about me! but about validating my son’s feelings. He has every right to want to talk about his father. – Dad lives far from here. I said in lack of better words. – You know I love you right? you are such a beautiful human, and we are blessed to have you as our son, I feel like we won in life. like, you are really my son? like wow, we are parents to YOU?! I said and he smiled with his bright big eyes. yes, I am his biggest fan and he knows that. He knows that he is loved and cherished. I have made it my mission to remind him of that consistently. He then continued to talk about Pokémon and the water types and earth types. You only know about Pikachu mama, he said shaking his head with disappointment and we laughed even more.

These “tough questions”are must-haves. I was aware they were coming and I expect them! When I was a kid I used to ask my mother about my father… Death didn’t make sense to my toddler mind all I knew was I had a father who wasn’t with us. And I remember how my mother’s face turned grey each time I asked about him and how she would cry. I stopped asking about him after that and made his absence in our life something to feel but not to mention. My mother was an orphan a 25 years old widow, who was surviving war and poverty. I have the opportunity to learn from her. And the luxury to go to therapy. To unlearn and heal while learning a new.

My son teaches me so much about life! so much about forgiveness, and so much about living in the now. His younger brother, also another comedian in the rise! both of them have enriched my life and I believe I am the best mother for them. we fit! we make sense.

Alhamdulilah for us.

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