I remember my second-line manager,about ten years back, showing me a picture of her 5 year old son who had just gotten hurt on the nose and a picture of her smiling daughter in a pretty dress on mother's day. She had mentioned to me that those two pictures were the most precious ones to her even though, her kids had, by then, grown up to be a handsome young man and a beautiful teenaged girl. She tried to explain the context and how she had felt at that time but frankly, everything went a little over my head. I had just gotten married and had no idea what it was like to be a mother. The words just stayed in my memory not so much because it was a mother speaking but more so because she was an accomplished professional and that I really looked up to her.
A few years later I became a mother, by that time I was dying to be one, of course still not knowing fully what being a mother meant. Delivering the baby , in my case a baby boy, was harder than anything I had done so far. I still did not understand that there is only more waiting. When my little boy was placed right beside me, I felt like I had never felt before. I was first conscious of a beautiful smell coming from the baby as if it was a flower. I was proud, happy but at the same time scared and in awe. Holding the cute little thing in my arms was the most precious feeling of all. My second delivery was quite a bit harder. One surely cannot ever be prepared for these sorts of things. With her, the thing that I remember most, was the bond between us when she suckled. I had a rocking chair where I typically nursed her and by the end of feeding time both of us were too sleepy. She from having a full stomach and me from the relaxation and all the hormones secreted as a result.
Now they are a lot bigger and our relationships have evolved, for the better sometimes and for the worse at other times. This mother's day, my daughter has made me a lovely keychain. She is the sweetest little thing with her short haircut and the pretty pink dress. My son has made me a ceramic photo frame with his cute picture and the words "Be Mine" on it. He has sprained his right ankle while playing with his friends at the park yesterday. It took me an enormously long time but I am finally starting to understand what my second-line manager was trying to communicate to me ten years ago.