A Tale of Two Mothers

I heard of a mother, who, when told that her son did not romantically favour the fairer sex, but preferred his own gender, said, “What else can I do but love him?”

That mother’s comment is one of the most beautiful sentiments I have ever heard, but I’ve always known that no matter who our children turn out to be, we will still love them, even though sometimes, we may not like them, or what they do.

That’s why, when a teenage daughter learns too early about the responsibilities of raising a child, her mother turns around and helps in the child-rearing, and spoils the grandchild, to boot.

That’s why a mother will peel off some of her emergency dollars to pay off a debt or obligation for a child less adept at saving.

That’s why a mother will take up for her child and have no one say a bad word against him or her when others, or even the courts, say otherwise.

That’s why, when a child seems to go astray, the mother sees her child first and who he is or what he has become, after.

So perhaps that’s why some people see the mothers as condoning or encouraging bad behaviour when they appear to stand behind or beside their children. But l’d like to think this is the stance she takes after she has said her piece, and that what we see is the united front and the brave face. Because some mothers have tried their best, but for some children this wasn’t good enough.

Some mothers on the other hand, blame the children for their own circumstances, even though we know that they weren’t the ones asking to come here.

My mother-in-law, who used to be a midwife, told me the story of a mother who had two children with different fathers. One child, a girl, was always bathed and well dressed. The other, a boy, was unwashed and unkempt – and dare I say, unloved.

When the mother was asked about the difference in appearance of her two children, the mother replied that the boy’s father was in jail. Back then, on the island where I live, nurses were assigned to districts. On one of her visits, my mother-in-law enlisted the help of the woman’s neighbours in ensuring that the mother took better care of the child.

Many years later, she was met by the mother who told her that now in her old age, the only one of her children who looked after her was that son who she had initially rejected.

I guess love goes both ways.

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Am I talking to myself here?

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