Monday, April 01, 2013

Other than own mother.....

Yesterday night, with one of her story books in hand, Zeni came up to me, interrupting my desperate attempt at catching up with the day’s newspapers.

“Mumma, you are not my stepmother na?”  Taking a fraction of second to collect my wits, I replied “no”. She gave a relieved look. “Yeah, ‘cause they are very bad na….so you are only my Mumma without the word ‘step’ na”, she confirmed her doubt in her signature style of speaking. That’s how we are presently learning new words in English by breaking them for easier pronunciation. All I could, was manage a nod. Now the relieved look became more pronounced, almost breaking into a smile and she turned her back and left the room.

Kept staring at her long gone back before returning to my newspapers. The mind didn’t follow the eyes. Zeni filled it with so many random thoughts, all rushing in. The first and immediate one that struck me was that the adoption process of ‘me’ as a mother seems to be reaching its final stage of completion with the validation phase going one. Consoling thought. After this personal evaluation of the brief exchange of words, the thoughts moved to being more objective in nature.

Why have our story books and movies type casted “Stepmothers”?  There is only one category: Cinderella’s mother, rather stepmother. It’s really unfair to all those mothers who are raising kids, not their own. If motherhood comes naturally to mothers then doesn’t it take much more effort to be a mother to someone else’s kid?  In fact by that logic, a stepmother ‘gives’ herself much more to the respective kid, family and society.  I remember in the first month of Zeni joining our family, while both the kids were dancing, my eyes followed their own will and kept resting on Sarah. I had to school myself into looking at Zeni at regular intervals. I let the acquired motherhood take on till the induced natural mother takes over for Zeni. And time did help me. Today yes, being a mom to two daughters has become natural to me.

Brings me to the point I was making earlier.  Unlike the books they read, let’s not generalize stepmothers for our kids and belittle sincere efforts of so many moms out there who are raising kids other their own, thanks to destiny or out of their own choice. …

This April, completed two years as ‘the’ adopted mother. And the journey continues….