Because I don’t know how to pray

I’m not a professional mom. I’m very embarrassed to confess this, but I’m jealous of the ladies who have been improving on this job over many years. All their time has been dedicated to their kids. I give all the recognition to them. I mean it.

The problem is due to my selfishness. Yes, I’m a selfish mom, who hides her favorite chocolates to eat them alone, slowly and with pleasure.

I’m a mother who travels and doesn’t bring the kids to parks. In opposition, I go with them to museums and try to explain who is the devil, God, Jesus and Mary – and the fact that their mother doesn’t have the same dedication of this last one.

One day, traveling with my kids to Amsterdam, I saw this picture of an old lady praying. It was simple: An old lady who was devotedly praying before to eat. At this point the kids were already sleeping in the stroller and I sat in front of it to better contemplate her. Despite of her wrinkles that took her front and the clear fact she has no teeth, this was the first time I recognized someone beautiful like her.

I envied her silence. The beauty from her closed eyes was calm and sincere at the same time. She was thanking because of the food – soup, fish, potatoes and bread – but it was evident she was also thanking for her life. The simple life she probably had.

We were in a very tough travel routine. All moms know how hard it is be alone and travel with kids. I was with a 4-year-old girl and an almost 18-month’ boy. I was exhausted during these days, in a foreign country, trying to communicate with the most foreign of all countries: my kids.  Every day I was trying to entertain them, aware of my selfishness, aware from the fact of I was there, with my kids, but envying the silence and gratitude of a toothless old lady who was ready to eat.

And suddenly the professional mother aroused inside and I woke my daughter up: “Wake up, come to see this lady, come to see how she prays!”

She opened slowly her eyes, visibly upset.

“What mom?”

“Look Teresa, look how beautiful is this old lady praying before to eat!”

“But if it’s that beautiful,” my daughter retorted, “why don’t do the same?”

With that, she went back to sleep while I regressed back to the selfish, unprofessional –  and now ungrateful- mom format.

Thanks to bring me back to the soil Nicolaes Maes.

PS: If you are thinking of traveling to Amsterdam it is worth visiting the amazing Rijks Museum   where Nicolaes and other Dutch artists like Rembrandt are exposed. With child or without child, go for it! …; D

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Bocetos, versiones, fragmentos de realidad · Textos por: Andrés Gómez O

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