The shifting of this woman’s priority as she’d become, a mother, translated…
As the sleepy bugs attacked, Mimi who’s not yet two became very clingy and easily agitated. After I’d carried her to bed, we’d experienced rolling around on the sheets, a game of chasing, making friends with the big Teddy bear, went off bed to get some milk, playing with toys, reading books, until after a whole hour, she’d finally, fallen to sleep. And, in order to get this face that’s, so sound asleep, I’d needed to have the twice a day, three minutes, to two hours’ drama of putting her to bed.
Hanging up the laundry will only take me ten minutes, sweeping, mopping the floors, no more than fifteen, but, don’t know if the next time my daughter flipped over if she will have those shiny bright eyes, looking at me? And, in order to have a set schedule for her, I can only, keep my patience, and stay by her side, to soothe her, and tried not to think about how much time has already passed, and, I’d accompanied her into dreams, then, awaken in a panic in the late nights, then, started, sorting through the messes in the house, and my work.
Recalling how as I started teaching first grade, in order to get the kids to understand the trials that their mothers had weathered, carrying them inside, I’d prepared the big balloons, to get those six-year-olds to stuff into their shirts, to try walking with a protruding belly. I’d heard the kids who were sweating like crazy, smiling and telling me, “It’s so hot!”, “I keep on bumping into my belly!”, back then, I wasn’t a mother yet, and couldn’t tell them exactly, why it was that motherhood is so difficult? And, as I’d heard my coworkers told, that only in the depth of the nights, did they get the chance to catch a reflection of themselves in the mirrors, to put on the makeup, then, they’d recalled, that there are other roles that they’d taken, other than a mother. Back then being single, I didn’t get it, does being a mother meaning losing the self? Or, does being a mother mean, that we are, our last priorities?
And snow, I’d become, a mother like that. At 7:30 in the morning, I’d, run into class, and, get my baby back at five from the nanny, and engaged in that race between being a mother and working as a school teacher. And the identity of me being “Ms. Lee” became, miniscule, because I’d needed, to fight for the freedoms to catch a matinee or to go for a thirty-minute jog. And, the freedoms those revolutionaries fought so hard for, I’d, easily, turned in my own life of independence, for a child.
The twelve-year-olds are already, very opinionated, looking at the girls, complaining on how their mothers don’t know them one bit, and that they’d often gave their mothers the silent treatments. I’d recalled how when Mimi was nine-months old, and had a very high fever, how I’d waited with her in the E.R., waiting for the urine test results and the blood test results.
I want to tell my Mimi, I know, that in your world, there will be many more beautiful things that are going to be ahead of us, your parents, we understand it, and we will, let go so you can pursue whatever makes you happy, but, the moment you’d become our baby, you’d become, and will always be, our top most priority.
And so, this, is how the mindset changes from when you were single, to when you’d become a mother, because, as we became mothers, time is no longer ours, it’d belonged to our children’s, and a lot of women lose their identities, taking up the multiple roles that we take up in our lives, and this woman apparently, found the balance of being a mother and being a school teacher, and her top priority is her daughter’s wellbeing, and that makes her a good mother!