Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers' Day

To commemorate her first Mother's Day, I made R a breakfast burrito complimented by fresh-squeezed orange juice. She likes to be cooked for, making it easy for me to honor her motherhood today. Sure, she hasn't given birth yet, but I feel she is suffering through pregnancy for our kid just as my mother had for me.

This got me thinking about how lucky I am to have and raise a child with my partner. I thought I was lucky that R chose me on the Internet dating site, lucky she agreed to drag me to whichever university hired her, and even luckier that she wanted to be legally bound to me through marriage. Now, she's upped the ante. R is willing to have her body stretched beyond recognition, discover pain and discomfort like she never knew existed, and pass a living being through a very, very small opening. I am simply amazed by her.

Of course, I have always known how amazing R is. I probably don't tell her enough, but she does impress me on a daily basis. She is smart, really smart. To hear her talk about her work with political discourse and how that discourse affects public policy that, in turn, affects the lives of women in developing countries is really quite mind-boggling. She's currently writing her book. Then she'll write another. Additionally, R has a great sense of humor, is a true foodie, and is a good friend. Did I mention how lucky I am to even know her? Because I am.

Come September, R will add the title "mother" to her list of scholar, partner, sister, and daughter, and I can't think of a person I would rather raise my kid with than her. While in grad school, R nannied twin infants and has an incredible wealth of knowledge on child-rearing from that experience. She wrote a significant portion of her dissertation while rocking her newborn niece with her foot. R will be a mother in the same way she does everything else in her life: knowingly, carefully, and comprehensively. I have no doubts that she will be a great mother to our child.

Thinking about my partner as a mother also led to me considering my own mom. Mom has been the most supportive and caring mother for which I could have wished. She influenced me greatly in my choice to pursue a career in education as well as my feminist tendencies to see women as equal ( if not greater) contributors to families, communities, and societies. I have always been able to go to her for advice or support no matter how much I screwed up or failed in my endeavors and relationships. We cried together when I married R and have been joyfully anticipating the arrival of her first grandchild. I have been lucky to have my mom as a friend, role-model, and confidant.

Today, Mom will undoubtedly honor her own mother who is suffering through dementia and losing the parts of her personality that made her who she is. Grandma is a feisty character in her old age, but she grows tired as the days wind down and forgets where she is, literally and metaphorically. It has to be hard to watch someone who raised you fade like that. I suppose Mom will cherish the time she has left with her mother. I don't look forward to that time in our relationship. I'd miss my mom as I am sure Mom will miss hers.


KR said...

This is one of the sweetest things I've ever read on this site. And it makes me realize that the kind of appreciation you have for R is what I've been looking for in my own relationships. A mutual appreciation, and a mutual awe of each other.

R is very lucky to have you. And I'm sure she recognizes that, too.

Mom said...

Thanks, Zac
Love you!

Kate said...

You've got a little brown on your nose.

Huey said...

Great post. You Made me think of how I appreciate the moms in my life. It says a lot about you that you can see the importance of these people in your life and you are not afraid to acknowledge your appreciation and respect.