I probably should have posted this when it was mother’s day, but that didn’t feel quite right to me. I don’t want to appreciate my mom only when it’s mother’s day I want to appreciate her every single day.
Being here in Ghana I’ve learnt to appreciate her more and more every day, just because I understand her better every day. I go crazy if I don’t see my kids from the orphanage at least once every two days. I don’t know how my mom is even handling me being a continent away from her for this long! And then me selfishly not contacting her too much so I don’t get too homesick.
But there’s more to it than seeing the kids as much as I can. Every time I see them I have to give them an overload of hugs and kisses. I have to tell them how much I love them at least 3 times before I leave. They might think it’s too much, but for me it’s so important that these kids know that they’re not just a little part of my life. They are my life. They have to know how much I love and appreciate them. They have to know that I would do everything to keep them safe and happy. That’s also another part. A while ago one of the kids got sick. More kids get sick, it happens. So many kids here had malaria and typhoid multiple times. No worries, it’s no big deal. We buy some pills, they get better. This was different though. It wasn’t malaria, it wasn’t typhoid. Something that could actually be dangerous. Words cannot express how worried I was. I slept awful, I was tossing and turning. I couldn’t go to the hospital because my feet hurt too much. My kid was feeling bad and I wasn’t there for her. I am not ready to have anything happen to any of these children. If anything happens I don’t know how I would continue. Is this how my mom felt when I was sick? Was this how she felt when I had a fever, or a big cut from being too clumsy? Was she sitting next to my bed, biting her lips to hide her tears so that I thought it was going to be fine? Wow.
And then there are the rules. We went to the beach with the kids. Two kids run off to the sea without getting permission. No. No. No. I get angry at them, because they want to have a little fun. Harmless right? There are so many people at the beach. We take them there because it’s fun, but the moment we take them they are our responsibility. Why on earth am I being so strict with the kids even though I’m only a volunteer staying for a short time? Because I love these kids so much that I have no choice but to be a little strict dome times. When I ran off somewhere, is that how my mom felt? When I wanted to stay away from home way after dark, was she laying awake being worried? Wow.
On mother’s day I went to the orphanage and all the kids ran up to me as usual. “Happy mother’s day!” I almost cried. Orphans. They come up to me, a person they’ve known for a few months and they say happy mother’s day. Even though I didn’t raise them or that I’ve only know them for short. For me, I feel like their mother. They’re My children. They’ll always be my kids. I never knew that I could love this much. Being a ‘mom’ tot them is so much more than just the name ‘mom’. Being a mom means hugging, loving, caring, worrying, being angry, being happy, being strict, being loving, being so so much more than a friend or a sister. Being a mom means giving your heart away. If I feel this way about kids I’ve known for a few months, how much more does my mom love me after raising me for 19 years. Wow, thanks mom. You’re amazing. Not just on mother’s day, not just today but for the past 19 years of my life and for the past 48 years of your life, you are truly amazing.