Once upon a time, I was reluctant to have kids. I felt that having a child would hinder my career and the pursuit of my dreams. But when Kenan arrived, something deep in my heart began to change.
Sixteen months on, in spite of the tears, frustrations and sleep deprivation, I've also felt joy beyond anything ever experienced. You know, the kind of joy that you experience on a deeper level, the kind that stays in your heart for a long, long time to come. Like the very first time Kenan called me "ma-ma", or the way he plants tiny kisses on my cheeks at the most unexpected moment - such as stopping whatever he is doing, walks over to me and kisses me. These days, he also has the habit of making sure that he kisses both cheeks (and he does the same to the daddy) - he would point his finger to a certain spot on one cheek, kisses it, then points to another spot on the other cheek and plants his second kiss!
But I love the bedtime routine the most. We normally lie on the floor mattress next to his bed and say our prayer together (rather, it's me who's saying the prayers), then I'll wait for him to fall asleep before putting him in bed. But as he tosses and turns about on the mattress, he also likes to snuggle up to me and kiss me good night, or he would sometimes put his small hands around my neck to give me a hug. But I'll never forget those occasions when I thought he had fallen asleep and was going to carry him to bed when he suddenly turned around, looked at me with big round eyes that glistened in the dark and then called me "ma-ma" in the sweetest of voice. My heart melted instantly.
It's these many beautiful moments peppering this strange, sometimes surreal and definitely challenging journey as a mom that made me realised what a sweet gift motherhood is.