the ennobling defect embraced by mothers & motherhood

INCAPABLE OF happiness except through others : that's Mom in a nutshell.  Thanks and acknowledgment to bro Jude Bautista for the pic!

INCAPABLE OF happiness except through others : that’s Mom in a nutshell. Thanks and acknowledgment to bro Jude Bautista for the pic!

ALL OF us are brought to this world by mothers, so I guess all of us are qualified to talk about, at the very least, our personal views on mothers.  So to my qualified mind, and you’ll probably agree with me, mothers are heroes on at least two counts : when they risk life and limb in allowing themselves to be vessels of our young lives and delivering us from their wombs; and when they pour out their very lives and energies in caring for us the rest of our lives.

But there is an additional challenge all mothers undertake once they agree to take on the noblest task in God’s realm : the challenge of becoming incapable of happiness except through the happiness of their children.

I know this is a rather dramatic and drastic assessment of what women do and have to do as they follow their destiny as mothers.  But when you think about it, 99% of mothers  (I actually think it’s 100% but for the sake of argument I’m granting I may not be correct) achieve happiness only when they assure themselves that the children they deliver, raise and discipline are happy.  Then and only then can they reach the level of happiness that they so richly deserve.  And I think you will agree with me on that.

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Unfortunately, and believe me when I say I am stricken by a life-long guilt trip to say this, despite my relatively advanced years and the efforts exerted by my folks, my mom has still not reached the ideal apex of happiness when it comes to me.  If my mom was a doctor or therapist / counselor, I would indeed be the “hard case” among her five patients, who also happen to be her five sons.

The road I have chosen to success has been a long and winding one, and I have stopped too often to smell the roses.  All this time and every step along the way my mother has been there to admonish me, counsel me, and pick me up every time I’ve fallen down.   But guess what ?  I often pay the tuition, but never completely learn the lesson.  I wouldn’t know where I’d be now if Mom weren’t there to keep setting my rickety wheels right back on track.  Thank God for Mom.

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So how does this link up with what I earlier said about most moms being incapable of achieving happiness except through the happiness of their young?  Plenty, because Mom is exactly that.  She is typical of all well-meaning moms, in that no expectation is too unrealistic for their perfect children.  On the other hand, because of those expectations, no disappointment is too painful when their children fail to measure up.   And like many moms, my mom has struggled to find middle ground.  But if your mom is like my mom, you’re probably not surprised.  It’s no great mystery that moms just want the best for us.  Knowing just how they measure  that high superlative, now that’s the poser.

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Just called Mom as the autumn sun went down to greet her a happy mothers’ day, a bit late in the day for me, but just right for her, New Zealand being four hours ahead of the Philippines.  Everything was in the right place : she and Dad had just attended Holy Mass, had just enjoyed a healthy lunch with Kuya Tim, Kuya Doc and bro Jude, her three remaining sons in the old country.  And she was nearly at peace with the world.

As soon, of course, as I had reached the point of success that had remained for me.

All I want is for you to be happy, Mom says in between small talk and details about her grandchildren, and if you can be happy, I will be happy.  Her own pretty way of saying, no pressure Noel.  Now, how could you turn your No. 1 fan down?

Happy Mothers’ Day Mom and to all moms!  Love you always and forever!



2 thoughts on “the ennobling defect embraced by mothers & motherhood

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