Often I've heard people scoff at Mother's Day, calling it a "Hallmark" holiday, just another opportunity to increase sales.
But on a personal note, having lost my mother when I was only 14 years old, I spent many, many years yearning to send my mother a Mother's day card. I did send cards to the mother-figures in my life, and thankfully I've had many of them, including my mother-in-law; but nothing ever truly filled the void.
My mother died when I was so young, and consequently there are many things I did not get to experience as a daughter. As I grew older, I had to rely on my imagination as much as my limited memory to know what it was like to have a mother.
But then Soledad came into the world, and I knew -- the overwhelming love, the sudden obligation, the inextinguishable need to protect. This is what it is like to be the daughter of a mother. This is how my mother loved me; there are no more doubts.
And magically, (and perhaps coincidentally, since I was gone for the better part of 4 days attending births this week) these are the paintings my daughters made for me on Mother's Day.
The one on the right was made by my oldest daughter. On the back, she wrote: "I remember being in your stomach!" The one on the left was made by my middle daughter. She handed it to me, and I assumed she was following her sister's lead as she often does, painting herself in my belly. "Mama," she said, "this is you inside your mom's belly!"
What goes around, comes around.