This I Believe

Heidi - Mountlake Terrace, Washington
Entered on October 29, 2006

I believe in a mother’s love.

Years ago, when I was in school and trying to decide what to be when I grew up, the idea of being a mother never even crossed my mind. I had no intention of becoming one of those insufferable mothers who burst into tears over Children’s Hospital commercials, or who torture their kids by whisking them to the emergency room with the slightest sign of a cold. I certainly wasn’t going to waste the good years of my life wearing sweatpants and spit-up. Like every teenager, I was focused on myself and on my dreams of an exciting, full, glorious twenty-something life. Most of all, I wanted to find an outlet for all of the passion I knew was just waiting to be shown reason to surface.

I had designs on becoming an architect… or a writer… or an artist… and by the time I got to college, I felt as if I would be in school for twenty years before I found something I was really passionate about. Just as my best-laid plans were about to take form, I got pregnant. At that point, I had no choice but to move back to my hometown where my boyfriend and I began to prepare for the unexpected. On September 26 of 2005, I delivered a baby girl.

And as soon as that tiny little pair of hands touched my skin, something unexplainable happened—I felt passionate. Suddenly, politics mattered, because they would shape my daughter’s world. Suddenly, the artist in me wanted to create a work that even shadowed the beauty of a child’s innocence. Suddenly, the thought of other children suffering was cause to burst into tears. Suddenly, the most powerful feelings of love, excitement, fear, and complete adoration were allowed an outlet through this single, perfect, brown-eyed little being.

With the birth of my child came a new chapter in my internal narrative on the world. Working and attending school are difficult with a child, but quitting is not an option. I feel passionately that by creating a future for myself, I am shaping and preserving my daughter’s future. I don’t even miss my old dreams of independence and freedom, because those things didn’t hold for me the kind of magical love that motherhood does. All that is in my mind is making this world into a place fit for my daughter.

If each and every one of us could be lucky enough to feel the unyielding passion that is a mother’s love, then I believe that the world would be a much better place. Such a feeling of complete good could be well used in a world full of corruption, greed and wastefulness. I think that we are taught too often that love is glamorous, self-serving, and ultimately not sufficient in such a world. I disagree. True love is simple: it is knowing that your one and only goal is to create good. True love is hope, trust, selflessness, justice, and passion. True love finds beauty in adversity and fulfillment in giving. There is no substitute, no alternative, no argument against true love because it is, by definition, pure. My hope is that someday the leaders of our governments, our religions, and our societies recognize that the only goal of humanity is love. Only then will the world truly be a better place. This I believe.