I changed my mind. First, I told my husband that I wanted to spend Mother’s Day attending church as a family, then going to brunch at my mother’s house, and then hiking with the kids at a nature reserve nearby. Then, I suspected I was a loca to ask for more stuff to do on a day meant to pamper and celebrate me, so instead I asked to spend the whole afternoon in bed, with a libro, and silencio. In the end, neither plan ended up being followed exactly. My Mother’s day was church, brunch, bed- napping with mi amor- and then playtime with my three not-so-little-anymore babies the rest of the day.
I think about the woman I was when I became a mami, and it fills me with awe to really think about the ways the last few years have changed me. Yes, I now have wrinkles (two for each kid, to be exact) and I just discovered the teeniest start of a spider vein on my leg (in order to make it less threatening I named it: “Carlota”)…part of the change is that I have just gotten older. But I have become happier, and more hopeful, and so much stronger. Physically and emotionally, I have begun uncovering a drive and endurance that I previously didn’t know I possessed, and that is completely thanks to having my children in my life, to being a mami. My kids make me laugh, drive me crazy, and challenge me to grow.
And sometimes, like on Mother’s Day, they present me with regalos that will help me grow. Regalos some of which that, like though to a lesser extent than mamihood, will kick my butt while making me fiercer and better for it. This year, with the help of my husband, my son and two daughters gave me a card, lots of hugs and kisses…and presented me with running shoes and the Nike + iPod kit. Like I was, qué se imaginaban, a runner?
I have been wanting to run a 5K forever. Wanting to learn to run, period. To be the sort of strong woman that could run. I’ve mentioned it in the “Ay-como-me-gustaría” way only to follow it up with no action. During the slivers of time that I’m not with my kids, I’ve remained glued to my desk or my chair and my laptop or notebook, because I’ve convinced myself that writing is my strength. My family doesn’t buy that it’s my only one.
My own mother says some of her favorite memories from when I was a little girl were the times that I turned to her with the certainty that she could do anything. She says I was convinced she could cook any elaborate dish as seen on cooking shows, and sew absolutely anything in no time at all; and once, when my school was looking for someone to fill the position of headmaster, I turned to her and said “But you could do that, mami!” I still think she would have been capaz of all of that, whether or not she agrees with me.
But on this, the receiving end of that certainty, me asombra completamente that my kids imagine, no, believe, that I can and should and will run! What a Mami’s Day gift, to get this glimpse of how they see me, los que me quieren! And an inspiration, an invitation. This morning, I woke up while everyone was still sleeping, laced up the new shoes and set off running.
*photo by Thomas Hawk