A Mother's Secret
I remember when I was a little girl, I would lay in my bed at night and hear the sounds of my mom working in the kitchen or sewing in her sewing room. The sounds I could hear were comforting sounds but ones that never really meant too much to me. I didn't know what she was doing, specifically, and the thought that I should care never crossed my mind. Her work, her movements; the thumps and bangs of pots and pans, the running water, the whirring of her sewing machine, the beeping of the oven timer - they were all familiar sounds, part of my home environment, and they blended into the background of my childish life.

Tonight found me standing at the counter making cupcakes, my version of confetti cupcakes; a little girl in Eve's class is celebrating a birthday tomorrow by bringing in cupcakes. I needed to bring one in for Eve - one made with the sugar we choose to eat. As I was mixing the batter, baking the cupcakes, whipping up the frosting - those sounds from my childhood, I heard them again. The realization came slowly but with great fervor. I am my mother. I am the woman working for two hours after my children go to bed; making cupcakes, washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning up the house, preparing a lunch for the next day. And I discovered something - a secret. I discovered that all that work is a joy; it is love, it is tender care for the little ones in my life. I find such pleasure in the concern I take for my family. Sure, I am tired and tonight my legs ache. As I washed the dishes I found myself once or twice wishing I was relaxing instead of washing yet another cup. But, when I really stopped to think about what I was doing, I realized how deep an expression of love all of my work is. I am creating an environment of peace, of security, of comfort, of wholeness for my children. They don't even realize what I am doing, nor do I want them to. They are children, my children, their only job right now is to be loved and cared for. All I want is for them to feel stability and comfort; to see a cupcake and feel happiness, not think - oh wow, that must have been a lot of work for mama. As young children, I want them to find joy in the little things I do for them, but I don't want them to realize at what cost it came. That will come later.

I can't say as I ever wished to be my mother. And not because she wasn't a good mom or woman, because she was and is. It's just that I have always truly wanted to be myself. But what I discovered tonight - the secret life of a mother - made me feel delight and sigh in recognition and happiness. I am my mom and there is no one else I would rather be.
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