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母爱的真谛

2006-02-21 00:00

  Time is running out for my friend. While we are sitting at lunch she casually mentions she and her husband are thinking of starting a family. "We're taking a survey,"she says, half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"   "It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral2. "I know,"she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous3 holidays……"

  But that's not what I mean at all. I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional4 wound so raw5 that she will be vulnerable6 forever.

  I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without thinking: "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die. I look at her carefully manicured7 nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated8 she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive9 level of a bear protecting her cub10.

  I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed11 by motherhood. She might arrange for child care, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting, and she will think her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline12 to keep from running home, just to make sure her child is all right.

  I want my friend to know that every decision will no longer be routine. That a five-year-old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at a restaurant will become a major dilemma. The issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester13 may be lurking14 in the lavatory15. However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess16 herself constantly17 as a mother.

  Looking at my attractive friend, I want to assure her that eventually18 she will shed the added weight19 of pregnancy20, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her own life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. She would give it up in a moment to save her offspring21, but will also begin to hope for more years—not to accomplish her own dreams—but to watch her children accomplish theirs.

  I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration22 of seeing your child learn to hit a ball. I want to capture23 for her the belly laugh24 of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it hurts.

  My friend's look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I say finally. Then, squeezing25 my friend's hand, I offer a prayer for her and me and all of the mere mortal women who stumble26 their way into this holiest of callings.

  母爱的真谛:母亲永远不会后悔!

  时光任苒,朋友已经老大不小了。我们坐在一起吃饭的时候,她漫不经心地提到她和她的丈夫正考虑要小孩。“我们正在做一项调查,”她半开玩笑地说。“你觉得我应该要个小孩吗?”

  “他将改变你的生活。”我小心翼翼地说道,尽量使语气保持客观。“这我知道。”她答道,“周末睡不成懒觉,再也不能随心所欲休假了……”

  但我说的绝非这些。我注视着朋友,试图整理一下自己的思绪。我想让她知道她永远不可能在分娩课上学到的东西。我想让她知道:分娩的有形伤疤可以愈合,但是做母亲的情感伤痕却永远如新,她会因此变得十分脆弱。

  我想告诫她:做了母亲后,每当她看报纸时就会情不自禁地联想:“如果那件事情发生在我的孩子身上将会怎样啊!”每一次飞机失事、每一场住宅火灾都会让她提心吊胆。看到那些忍饥挨饿的孩子们的照片时,她会思索:世界上还有什么比眼睁睁地看着自己的孩子饿死更惨的事情呢?我打量着她精修细剪的指甲和时尚前卫的衣服,心里想到:不管她打扮多么考究,做了母亲后,她会变得像护崽的母熊那样原始而不修边幅。

  我觉得自己应该提醒她,不管她在工作上投入了多少年,一旦做了母亲,工作就会脱离常规。她自然可以安排他人照顾孩子,但说不定哪天她要去参加一个非常重要的商务会议,却忍不住想起宝宝身上散发的甜甜乳香。她不得不拼命克制自己,才不致于为了看看孩子是否安然无羔而中途回家。

  我想告诉朋友,有了孩子后,她将再也不能按照惯例做出决定。在餐馆,5岁的儿子想进男厕而不愿进女厕将成为摆在她眼前的一大难题:她将在两个选择之间权衡一番:尊重孩子的独立和性别意识,还是让他进男厕所冒险被潜在的儿童性骚扰者侵害?任凭她在办公室多么果断,作为母亲,她仍经常事后后悔自己当时的决定。

  注视着我的这位漂亮的朋友,我想让她明确地知道,她最终会恢复到怀孕前的体重,但是她对自己的感觉已然不同。她现在视为如此重要的生命将随着孩子的诞生而变得不那么宝贵。为了救自己的孩子,她时刻愿意献出自己的生命。但她也开始希望多活一些年头,不是为了实现自己的梦想,而是为了看着孩子们美梦成真。

  我想向朋友形容自己看到孩子学会击球时的喜悦之情。我想让她留意宝宝第一次触摸狗的绒毛时的捧腹大笑。我想让她品尝快乐,尽管这快乐真实得令人心痛。

  朋友的表情让我意识到自己已经是热泪盈眶。“你永远不会后悔,”我最后说。然后紧紧地握住朋友的手,为她、为自己、也为每一位艰难跋涉、准备响应母亲职业神圣的召唤的平凡女性献上自己的祈祷。

相关热词:文学 散文 母爱

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