“A mother understands what a child does not say.” —Jewish Proverb
Of all the types of love, it is the love between a mother and a child that is the strongest.
A mother’s love is unconditional and eternal—a lifelong bond that unites two bodies and souls from the instant the child is born. A mother and child form an attachment that affects the way they relate to others throughout their lifetime. A healthy attachment, fueled by love, affection and mutual respect, makes for healthy relationships.
I have been a mother for almost three and a half decades, and I still am growing and learning the lessons of motherhood. Before the arrival of my eldest son Bryan Prieto, I thought I knew what unconditional love was—but becoming a single mom at such a young age made me feel a new sense of true and eternal love.
A mother is usually the gel that bonds a family closer together, the pillar of familial love and support. We do not have to win our mother’s love. Unconditional love provides a dose of self-esteem that comes from the feeling of deserving to be loved for who we are, not what we do. The dedication, selflessness and love we feel from our mothers as children help us grow into better human beings.
Motherhood is beautiful, without a doubt. Good times and bad times come together to allow women to enjoy the wonderful benefits that life has to offer, along with their families. As mothers, women explore a number of feelings they never knew existed, and share unique, unrepeatable moments.
Celebrating mothers and daughters
In the absence of events and launches for Mother’s Day, I reminisced on past parties that celebrated mothers and daughters.
Two years ago, Swatch Philippines held a beautiful event featuring the latest Swatch collection in celebration of Mother’s Day.
With true Tita Virgie Ramos flair, huge fresh flowers arrangements, a full buffet spread, games and prizes awaited mothers and daughters. Lucky guests won their choice of Swatch or Flik Flak watches. Portraits by Sara Black and a box of Ladurée chocolates were given to all mothers at the party.
That afternoon, four generations of a family were in attendance—Margie Moran with her mom Rosario, her daughter Monica, and her granddaughters Adriana and Cosima, who got her first watch at the party!
I truly miss events like these, especially being surrounded with other mommies. Hopefully, our world will heal faster and bring us all back together. Happy Mother’s Day to Tita Virgie, too!
Needing my mom
Perhaps for the first time in my life, “Mother knows best” is no longer just a cliché. As independent as I have been for most of life, now at my wonderful age of 57, I find that I am once again needing my mom for her love, support, wisdom and grace. I am once again the child that she cuddled and nurtured throughout the various stages of my life, especially during tumultuous years.
Without me having to say much, she just seems to know what I am thinking, feeling and needing at the moment. We may not always agree, but somehow through the years she has always proven to be right! There truly is no love as unconditional as a mother’s love.
So on this Mother’s Day, I am giving my mother, Marixi Prieto, the tightest, warmest hug! She knows how much I love and need her in my life!
From this experience of her love, I am committed even more to being the best mom to my kids. I would like them to have the same experience I had with my own mother.
Three years ago, we were practically empty-nesters—Bryan is married and off on his own, Jordan and Tyrone were in college in the United States, with only Athena was home with us. One silver lining of this pandemic is that I have all our children and grandson with me daily.
I am privileged to be with them, watching, observing and learning from them as they come into their own as adults. I am truly happy at how they have turned out as people. My youngest, Athena, is blooming as a teenager and coming into her own values.
Joy and affection
Not a stern and strict mother, I have a tendency to shower my children with joy and affection while constantly telling them to be respectful and caring of others. I would like to believe that I have made a very positive impact on who they are today. And I feel that I can still continue to influence and make a positive impact on their lives.
Psychologists say that children consciously and subconsciously pattern their characters and values based on their parents. So, at this stage in their lives, I would like them to bear witness to three core values that I hold very dear. The first is the value of self-respect: it’s about knowing who you are and what you stand for, accepting your strengths and weaknesses and rebuilding your life despite setbacks. The second is truth and honesty. This is not just being able to speak your truth, but also having the courage to call out behaviors that go against these values. And the last is forgiveness—because life isn’t perfect and things will not always go your way, so learning to forgive yourself and to forgive others will create that space in your heart and soul for more of the good in life to come in.
My kids are my greatest treasures! And to Athena, my youngest, my most treasured surprise late in life, happy 16th birthday!
For the art-loving mothers out there, please check out the ongoing activities of Art Fair Philippines.
Léon Gallery graces the halls of Art Fair Philippines 2021 once again with abstract art from Vasarely, Albers, Diez, Zobel, Aguinaldo, among others. The exhibit runs until May 15. A virtual exhibition will be organizedartfairphilippines.com. A complementary exhibit will also be held at Léon Gallery International (G/F, Corinthian Plaza, 121 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City; tel. 88562781, 0998-5517201; email [email protected]).