Any mother knows that the minute you hear that your child is unwell, you want to run to them and be with them. You would do anything to make them feel better. Something happened when I became a mother. All of a sudden, I had, without any deliberate effort, attained an acute sensitivity to suffering of any kind and especially, that of children. That isn’t to say that I was heartless before. In fact, most who know me extremely well, will say that I am very compassionate. But motherhood has somehow elevated my sense of compassion to a whole new level.
Someone close to me once said “all children get sick, it is no big deal.” She was obviously someone who does not yet have children. I found the comment to be ignorant but I bide my time until she becomes a mother. A prospect of a sick child doesn’t just mean a child in discomfort. It also guarantees sleepless nights (likely more than one) for the mother. But I digress…
I grew up in a family where when my sister or I were sick, my mom did everything and anything to make us feel better. There was first and foremost a stern lecture how we must have caught this cold because we didn’t a. wear our hat/scarf b. ran around until we broke a sweat and then gulped ice cold water and c. didn’t wash our hands before eating. The reasons were, universal if you’re Russian, dubious and likely untrue. Once the lecture was finished, we were loved. That meant hot tea with homemade raspberry jam on demand, hot chicken soup with matzo balls or dumplings. We were allowed and encouraged to lay down, watch tv or read books. Sometimes, when feeling especially poorly, my mom would lay down with us (even when we were older) and just hold us. It was just nice and I believe that children can feel that and it instantly calms them and soothes their already aching bodies. Just look at infants whose mothers can soothe them by just holding them. The infants can smell their mother and are instantly comforted. This and all that special yummy goodness continued well into adolescence. Not to be mistaken for a mommy’s girl, which I am definitely not, but I even felt infinitely better when my mom came and spent my first full day as a new mother in the hospital with me. She just gave me such reassurance.
This past Friday, Sophia had a runny nose. She’s so miserable when she has a cold because she have yet to master blowing her nose. Even though our nanny is more than capable of administrating medicine and trying to sooth Sophia, there is no-one better than Mama to make it all better. I rushed home from work to try and comfort her and hopefully curtail the advances of this cold. I defrosted some chicken soup, made warm tea (that’s right, we’re Russian and we drink tea!), bundled her in a warm cardigan and even held her while she napped. We thankfully nipped this cold or allergies or teething or … whatever it was in the bud. Fingers crossed. Oh and she drinks “flowering honeybush” tea which is naturally caffeine free.
Taking a selfie with my sleeping child is not beneath me :-). This is mothering. This is love.