Motherhood for me was almost an all consuming thing. From the first time I felt Marina move inside me, to finally sending Anthony out the door and into the world when he left for school last September, my life has more or less revolved around those four people that I brought into the world. Who am I kidding??? It still does, though perhaps to a smaller degree now.
My kids will tell you I'm a sap, and a sucker for watching them together. I even get tears in my eyes still. But then, I'm the weepy sort anyways; so very sentimental that it doesn't take much to pull the strings and get me going.
So, what does motherhood mean to me??? It means bringing into the world some awesome human beings, that I am inordinately proud of. That I wonder if I even have the right to be proud of them. Regardless, I am. They are my single most important accomplishment. When asked to describe myself, whether it be for a job interview or anything else, the first words that spring to mind are: I'm a mom. Because I love my children, but also because being their mother also describes my life. I take care of things. For my kids, but for other people around me too. That doesn't mean I do nothing else. I have friends, a life partner, a career, a few hobbies and interests. But as much as I love all the other aspects of my life, my children mean the most. They are beings that I had a hand in creating, and that always keeps me in awe.
I raised them. Tried to teach them right from wrong. Gave them the independence to question and probe. Allowed them to make their own mistakes and to fall flat on their faces. Always knowing that I was there, ready to pick up the pieces if need be. Surprisingly, they very rarely fell flat. It's not often that I've had to pick up pieces. More likely, that along the way, they've picked up my pieces more than a time or two.
I'm often asked the secret of why my family is so closely knit. Quite honestly, I don't know. We've always spent time together, always done things together. We joke, and play and work together. And we always try to make time for each other. I've never been "too busy" for them, and they are never too busy for me or for each other. I guess that makes us lucky.
It's May, and for me, as well as a celebration of motherhood, May is a chance to celebrate my women friends. The women who are my support system. Never underestimate the value of the women you call friends. For me they have become sisters. It doesn't seem to matter how much time passes between contact, or just exactly which one of us does the calling or contacting, what does matter is knowing that these sisters of my heart are always there when I need them, or if they need me. Nurturing each other as we nurture our children. Can't ask for more than that. Because friendships need nurturing too.
This year, as well, I'm celebrating a soon-to-be new mom, as a very dear friend is expecting her first baby in June. And that gives me a chance to remember all the things I loved about being pregnant with my own four. And some of the not so nice things too!!! It's been an event filled time for her, full of moments of wonder and awe. In watching her as she goes through this precious time, I'm constantly reminded of just what a great experience it is!!! And the best part of it is just around the corner. She's going to make a great mother. And I get to be a surrogate "nonna". What an exiting time!!!
Whatever you have to celebrate this Mother's Day, make sure to gather your loved ones around and enjoy them. They are, after all, what makes it all worthwhile.
Here's a recipe that's springy and fresh, jus tin time for a Mother's Day Tea!!!
(Honey Lemon Cake)
This is a gluten free recipe, because my partner is allergic to gluten, but still enjoyable for everyone.
4 generous tbsp honey
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
100 ml oil
125 gr fresh ricotta
100 gr almond flour
200 gr rice flour (if you can find it, I find the Asian rice flour has a better end result)
1 tsp baking powder
3 - 4 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
Whisk eggs and honey together till well blended. Add oil, lemon zest and juice and ricotta, Mix well.
Add the flours and baking powder and combine. Stir in poppy seeds at this point, if you are using them.
Pour into a greased cake tin and bake in a pre heated 350 oven for 25 - 30 minutes.
You can serve this cake as is or glaze with a glaze made of icing sugar and lemon juice.