Gratitude

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I celebrated my birthday recently and, a week before that, my son’s birthday, too.
I told my son that his birthday is so special because we celebrate that he came into the world and we are so grateful that he is here. I said it was one of the happiest days of my life when he came into our lives and I was so grateful to be his mother. His birthday, after all, was the day the mother in me was born.
So – I nearly shed a tear when my mum gave me a card a week later with the words “Your birthday will always be special to me, because its the day you came into my life’.
On reflection, gratitude is a sentiment which is rarely acknowledged in debate about motherhood – aside from burden, penalty and childcare.
Yet, I imagine that my mother and I are not the only mothers to feel that sense of utter thankfulness on our children’s birthdays. Perhaps gratitude is the sister of mother-love which, when expressed, can be one of the most precious gifts we can give to our children: for them to know they are loved for being themselves and that they have brought their own-shaped joy into the lives of their mothers.
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