There are women who become mothers without effort,
Without patience or loss,
And though they are good mothers and love their children,
I know that I will be better.
I will be better not because of genetics
Or because I have read more books,
But because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned
Over and over again.
Like most things in life,
The people who truly have appreciation
Are those who have struggled
To attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore, and discover.
I will marvel at this miracle
Every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child,
Knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him
And that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot
Or cry tears of a broken dream.
My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense;
That God has given me this insight,
This special vision
With which I will look upon my child.
Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to
Or a child that God leads me to,
I will not be careless with my love.
I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.
I am a better wife,
A better aunt, a better daughter,
Neighbor, friend and sister
Because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment,
As I have been betrayed by my own body.
I have been tried by fire and hell
That many never face.
Yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.
So now, when others hurt around me,
I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort.
I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
And even though I cannot make it better,
I can make it less lonely.
I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine,
Of other eyes that moisten
As they learn to accept the harsh truth
When life is beyond hard.
I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Before you know what Kindness really is
You must lose things
Feel the future dissolve in a moment
Like salt in a weakened broth
What you counted and carefully saved
All this must go so you know
How desolate the landscape can be
Between the regions of kindness
How you ride and ride
Thinking the bus will never stop
The passengers eating maize and chicken
Will stare out the window forever
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
You must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
Lies by the side of the road
You must see how this could be you
How he too was someone
Who journeyed through the night with plans
And simple breathe that kept him alive
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside
You must know sorrow as the other deepest thing
You must wake up with sorrow
You must speak it till your voice
Catches the thread of all sorrows
And you see the size of the cloth
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore
Only kindness that ties your shoes
And sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread
Only kindness that raises its head
From the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for
And then goes with you everywhere
Like a shadow or a friend