Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mothers' Day

The story I share with you today begins about 15 years ago. I was at a party at a Hungarian friend's house.  Living so far from home, one gets to appreciate the chance to relax and chat away in the old mother tongue.  I call it switching my brain off.  As a plus, there is always awesome Hungarian food to gorge on too!

One-day-old Dominic and me in 2004. Photo by Andi Lilikoi Gaspar
This particular event was a Hungarian women's get together and at some point during the course of the evening one of the ladies, named Marta, asked me what the best thing I had ever done in my life was.  At that point in my life I was already married, had two kids, a master's degree, had travelled extensively, as well as lived and worked in several countries. Still, without hesitation, I replied: my children. Marta just nodded at my response and then we chatted about other stuff and I soon forgot about the exchange. Most likely, I proceeded to stuff myself with Hungarian food and then passed out as soon as I got home.

Fast forward a few years to some time around 2005, a year after my third child was born. At another Hungarian party (this one was in celebration of a national holiday), Marta, who herself became a mother maybe two years prior, and was chasing her little daughter around the people gathered, walked up to me and reminded me of the exchange we shared three years prior. Our conversation this time went something like this:

Marta: "Hey Zsuzsa, I need to ask for your forgiveness."
Me: "Sure, Marta, but what for?"
Marta: "Remember when a few years ago at Sylvia's party I asked you what the best thing was that you had ever done in your life and you replied it was your children."
Me: "Yeah, I remember."
Marta: "Well, I have to make a confession: at the time you said that, I was thinking to myself, 'Wow, Zsuzsa really hasn't done much in her life', and I actually pitied you.  Poor thing, what an uneventful life she must have lead that having kids is the highlight. But of course this happened before I had my daughter. Now, that I am a mother myself, I finally understand what you had said then, and I wholeheartedly agree with you."

I was of course surprised that Marta pitied me for my lack of fun experiences in life, after all, I think I had (and still have) a pretty great life. But I also very touched by her honesty and that she took the time to remind me of the conversation. We both had a good laugh. 

Marta had a second child, a little boy about a year later and is now a mom of two.  I have not seen her in years, as somehow she lost touch with many of us Hungarian girls, but whenever I ponder motherhood and all that it has brought into my life I remember her and this story.  Marta, if you happen to read this, thank you.

No comments:

Post a Comment