Birthdays are for Mothers

Celebrating alongside my children

Today is a poignant day for me.

It is on this day, twenty years ago, I entered the unknown realm of motherhood for the first time, Alhamdulillah. Not to one child, but to two, Alhamdulillah.

As I reflect on those twenty amazing years gone by, I see my boys’ lives flash by me in seconds. Nostalgia fast-forwarded. From their time as tiny tots to the young, wonderful men they have become, it has been an honour to watch them grow. Today, the tables have turned and the relationship of dependency moves in both directions. In many ways, I often find myself relying on them for advice, moral support and sometimes just to humour me.

Becoming a mother is a point in your life from which there is no return. When life throws so many variables in your path, the one constant is the tie to your children. It is not a tenuous tie, unlike that of many absent, transitory fathers who falsely convince themselves that the odd phone call or message entitles them to be called ‘father’. Had it been that easy, I’m sure many women would have also recklessly abandoned their posts, pursued their own selfish desires and yet demanded to be called ‘mother’. Alhamdulillah, it is a divine gift embedded in the innate feminine programming that tells most mothers they cannot envisage a life without their children when the family breaks down. From the rubble of our past, we salvage precious pieces and return to rebuild and build higher and stronger. For the irreverant, we become irrelevant. Overnight. But sometimes a canon can backfire…..

Over four years ago, I would never have believed anyone who told me that divorce would be a refreshing harbinger of change for me and my boys. That’s because I lacked vision both in my sight, in my dreams and in my soul. I had voluntarily incarcerated myself into another person’s world and thrown away the key not realising I may need to make my exit one day. Alhamdulillah though, today my boys and I have all dipped our toes into unchartered waters and are now learning to float.

Working with a situation and not against it

We are moving with the current rather than trying to resist it. We are on individual journeys and collective ones and more often than not, we converge to discuss our progress before setting off again once more. I am experiencing an inner strength I never knew I had within. In many ways, my life has become uncluttered and simpler. I can now focus on myself and the boys. We have finally separated the insoluble elements from our lives and purified what remains. It’s beautiful Alhamdulillah.

So, for me, my boys’ birthday is not about cake and candles. It is not just about them accomplishing another complete year on this Earth. It is a personal celebration of motherhood. An affirmation that Allah has allowed me to occupy this role still. As such, the celebration is as much mine as is theirs.

Some birthday celebrations do not have to be visible

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