Giving Birth to an Idea

Irina Echarry

Mother and child photo by Caridad

It turns out that more than ever before I have the desire to become a mother.   “It’s natural,” lots of people will tell me; but the problem lies in what’s natural.  On this mysterious island it can be like the surprises pulled out of a magician’s hat – and not all of them are white and fly with wings.

The idea is spinning around in my mind and spirit.  At times I see myself as being beautiful with my immense belly that I can barely hold up, while shrouded in joy.

But I then immediately go into panic.  I wonder: Would I be able to educate the child about love?   Would I become a simple parrot of old educational formulas that prevent a youngster from creating their own identity?   Would I be a good mother? – though I’m not even sure what that means.

The truth is that the dilemma is serious.  In addition to the questions that I constantly pose myself and which force me to rethink the idea, reality smacks me in the face: We’re returning to another crisis as deep as in the ‘90s.

Since I know the whole world is going from bad to worse, isn’t it an act of selfishness to have a baby under these conditions of material and emotional crisis across the country?   Will I be brave enough to not give into the temptation to accept anything for “the good of my child”?   Will I continue loving the same things and the same people I’m crazy about today, or will that other love displace everything else?

Most people I know stop living their own lives in order to live those of their children.  I don’t want that.  I ask myself if I will have enough willpower to face the absurdities experienced in hospitals, schools and neighborhoods.

I wonder if I’ll succeed at being a mother without sadness, one who doesn’t carry contentious baggage that weighs on the innocent being I bring into the world, one without bitterness, someone who doesn’t sow frustration.  I’m afraid of not knowing even the most elementary things to guide someone toward a better way of living.

I’m tremendously afraid, but I also want to hear the laugh of a being so close to me.

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Irina Echarry

Irina Echarry: I enjoy reading, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. Many of the people I love are dead, or are no longer in Cuba. I will do my best to transmit my thoughts, ideas or worries via these pages so you can get to know me. I will give an idea of my age, since it helps explain certain things. I’m over thirty-five, and I think that’s enough information. I don’t have any children yet, or nieces or nephews. There are days when I transform myself into a child with no age at all in order to see life from another angle. It helps me break the monotony and survive in this strange world.

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2 thoughts on “Giving Birth to an Idea

  • such a nice comment Grady..

  • Dear, beautiful Irina: You do not–and until you become a mother you probably cannot–understand some basic things about parenthood.

    It only “seems” to a childless person that people they know “stop living their own lives in order to live those of their children.” The truth is, from the first moment that your baby appears, an unstoppable biological change takes place in you.

    Along with the birth of a child you become, to paraphrase a religious saying, almost “born again” yourself. Everything focuses on the child, and a mother will literally fight the whole world to protect it.

    Please don’t be afraid of not being able to take care of your baby or babies. People will come to your assistance. You will never regret motherhood, and if you don’t experience it, you will lose one of the most difficult and most glorious joys of life. Good luck, Mom.

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