Our mothers know all about us. They saw us the second we arrived on earth, and have observed us minutely from then on. They know our every smile, grimace, laugh, pain. They watch us grow physically and emotionally. They’ve seen our first tooth come out and be replaced. They’ve frowned at or been accepting of our first love interest. They’ve force us to eat properly, brush our teeth and do our homework. But what do we know about them? In this essay, I’m going to tell you what I found out about my mom.
All about my mom
I adored my mother from the moment I knew how to adore. To me, she is the most beautiful person in the world. She has a smile that lights up the room and laughter that chimes. Her hair is always soft and pretty. She keeps it long. When I was small, I would sit on her lap and twirl it round my finger for hours. If she needed to get up to do something, I would howl.
Her skin is soft and freckled. She is plump and warm. I love to cuddle with her. Even though I am probably too old for it now, I still creep into her bedroom and lie with her at night.
She is great at helping me with my problems. When I have a fight with one of my girlfriends, she is the first person I go to talk to. She always knows what to say. Sometimes, what she says is very blunt and frank. She does not mince her words. If she thinks I’m wrong about something, she tells me straight. She is not the kind of mother who always supports her child, no matter what. She is a person of calibre, with high standards and lots of integrity.
My mom has very loyal friends. Often, I hear her friends telling her that they love her. She likes nothing better than a girls’ night out; she comes home all excited and flushed and tells us everything that happened that night. She is also very good at keeping a secret.
That’s because she has her own secrets, as I found out a few months ago. Despite everything I’ve said about my mom’s laughter and lovely smile and abundant friendships and warmth, there was always something she help back a little from me. Of course, I did not know what it was, just that something was slightly missing. Occasionally, if I walked into her room without her hearing me, I’d catch her deep in thought. Once or twice, she had tears running down her eyes. She looked sad. But when she saw me, she’d always brighten up immediately, put on a lipstick and a smile, and things would seem normal again.
A few weeks ago, I was looking for something nice to wear around my neck. I thought maybe a little pendant on a necklace would look good. I was rooting around in my mom’s drawers, when I found a photo I had never seen before. It was of a very young girl, and she was holding a baby in her arms. The baby was swaddled in lots of blankets, and looked very young, like a newborn. The girl was gazing lovingly at the baby. I realized this was my mother.
I didn’t know what to do. It was obviously my mother’s secret and she did not want to share it with me or she would have done so by now. At the same time, I wanted to let my mother know that I knew. I thought it might help her to heal, to know that the child she kept does not think badly of her for giving up a baby for adoption. I decided to approach my mom, and tell her what I knew.
One day, I mentioned to her that I had seen the photo, and realized it was her baby. I told her I loved her and perhaps we could find out where her other child is now. She looked at me sadly and said: I didn’t give him away. He died when he was seven days old.
This was my mom’s secret. It just shows you that as much as we think we know about our mothers, we don’t really know them at all. My mom kept this terrible sadness from me my whole life.