Random Thoughts #3

For the Mothers

black mom

As mothers worldwide were honored and adored via physical embraces and social media over the weekend, a line from Trevor Noah’s autobiography ‘Born a Crime’ comes to mind.

I chose to have you.”

These are the words of Trevor’s mum, Patience Mbuyi Noah who made the audacious yet well-thought out decision to have a child with a Swiss man almost two decades her senior.

Let that sink in for a moment – she is a Black South African woman who decided that she wanted to have a child and then she convinced the man she had chosen. She chose a Swiss man. She chose to have a mixed race baby at the zenith of apartheid; when having such a child was a criminal offense and could lead to several years in prison. And yet –

I chose to have you.”

Our mothers, your mother and mine, chose to have us. They chose to house us in their bodies for nine months, push us out or have us cut out of their bodies and ruin their figures. They chose to love us, respect us, build us up and straighten us up (by kindness or spankings). They chose to invest in us; support us, push us to the brink…and then carry us home when we were exhausted. They are our mothers. God picked us for them and they for us.

And then they chose us.

And if you’re wondering why I’m stressing on this last point, let me share a few stories:

–         A friend of mine in her mid-30’s who was married with three children under five and was pursuing a Masters degree, called me and told me she was pregnant. There was a long silence then she said in a tired, broken, quiet voice: “I feel so disappointed in myself.” There was another long silence and we did what best friends do – we had a silent conversation. This time, the topic was ‘I don’t know if I can handle another child’

–         A friend of mine in her mid-40’s fell pregnant and was told by her doctor that there was a chance her child would be born with a defect. The options available…were not encouraging.

–         A 19 year old friend of mine about to enter nursing training college fell pregnant. 19. Pregnant. And just about to enter training college. Her first thought : I can’t  have this baby.

 pregnant mom

And there are so many women with so many personal scenarios similar to the situations outlined above. Let me not leave out the women who struggle with infertility who try and try and invest so much money…only to lose the child. And after licking their wounds, decide to try again.

Another roll of the dice.

Another gamble.

Another prayer waiting to be answered.

I chose to have you.”

Ultimately, all the women I mentioned, chose to carry full term. Each of them is now blessed with beautiful children.

And what did my friends sacrifice for my beautiful nieces and nephews?

Their lives as they know it : their money, their dreams of a grown-up dinner with grown-ups. Their perfect schedule.

And what did they (the mothers) receive?

Squabbles among siblings.

Building blocks on the floor.

And love, the unconditional love a child has for his/her mother.

In other words – when God blessed them with the children they chose to love, they hit the jackpot.

“I chose to have you.”

So on this day, let’s remember that our being here was not simply the benevolence of God Most High; let’s remember that by virtue of the free will He gave us, our Mamas chose us.

The challenges are still there, but with a loving, inquisitive, often-times selfish, playful, exploring little person in the house – why wouldn’t there be ?

But despite that.. and all the drama and bullshit we create around us…Still, our mothers say : “I chose to have you.”

I am…we are… the final product of a critical decision between a woman and her God.

We are the blessed ones, the chosen ones.

 mama and baby


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