I was singing to my little girl while changing her, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you…” And it is here that I began to cry. It may be a simple nursery rhyme however truer words have not been spoken/sung. Our children will truly never know how much we love them, and isn’t this the most beautiful and painful aspect of motherhood?
Our children change us so much yet they have no idea because there is this idea perpetuated that birth is a one-way street. Yes, of course in the most literal sense we have birthed our babies; however, are we not the ones truly reborn? I sincerely believe my daughter has given birth to a new me. Whether it’s small things like reforming my old habits of deep sleep to become the lightest sleeper of all time (I now wake up at the click of a light switch), or big things like, oh I don’t know, every aspect of motherhood, I feel renewed.
I feel tired, yet refreshed; anxious, yet strong in my resolve; scared, yet highly protective, and I will never be able to fully communicate the complexity and depth of my love for her because all words and all actions fail. And it is within this pause of realization that another awareness unfolds, and I’m reminded of my relationship with Allah. Is this not how Allah loves us? Protects us? Guides us? And yet what sign or revelation is more of an apt symbol than motherhood? I have felt Allah’s reassurance, guidance and mercy more now than ever before, and perhaps this is because it’s one thing to know the wall is there to lean on, but quite another to embrace the relief that only something so sturdy can give. And only now do I truly know what it is to love for the sake of Allah. And no one can take that sunshine away.
Lena Hassan lives in Ottowa, Canada. She is mother to one little girl.