To the mother who, despite being her fourth girl, loved me still

Esra’ AlNaggar

To the mother who has sacrificed her shape, only so that I could make my grand entrance to the world.

To the mother who has been told over and over again, “It is a Girl”, yet she celebrated it every time as if it were her first.

To the mother who had to go through the hateful torments of giving birth and never hated me for it.

To the mother who has loved the red fragile thing I was on the day I was born, and way long before that.

To the mother who still braided my hair despite having to do it for the fourth time.  

To the mother who has so much protected me from the “Black” of the world that I grew up believing it to be a thousand shades of “Pink”.

To the mother who had to bear up with “Four” so “Different” girls, yet acknowledged our differences with an open heart.

To the mother who – at a time when most of my friends were neglected for Qat Chewing*-  stuck around, watched me like a hawk and pampered me with her undivided attention.

To the mother who grounded me, over and over again ignoring my tantrums, just to see me become the person I am today.

To the mother who was my “Teacher- At- Home” through all my elementary studies.

To the mother who turned a blind eye to the despiteful teenage I was.                         

To the mother who listened to my endless stories, times 4, yet paid attention to each and every single one of them.

To the mother who every time I felt slightly sick, held me tight, her heart beating hard against my ears in a phenomenon I now interpret as: Fear.

To the mother who complained about my eating habits, promised not to bother again, and is there waiting to fill me up at the very next meal.

To the mother, who tolerated my dramas, my intolerable mood swings, and gave excuses when I did not deserve them.

To the mother who told me every day to text her when I reach college, when I am every day determined to forget.

To the mother who disciplined me firmly but managed to do so without defecting who I am.

To the mother who taught me that looks are great, and intellect greater.

To the mother whose advice, despite always fighting it, has always saved the day.

To the mother who was a friend I could talk to about anything, at any time.

To the mother who taught me, at my early years, that all what matters at the end of the day is “Our Family”.

To the mother who saw me differently, and made sure I grew up believing myself to be.

To the mother who taught me, that being a girl was never an obstacle, and if you believed, nothing can stop you.

To the mother who during my depressions, despite her weakness, has been my strength.

To the mother who pushed me forward when fear seemed to cripple my steps.

To the mother who celebrated my insecurities, cheered through my achievements, and held me close as I wept my disappointments.

To the mother who still does my make-up, ignoring the fact that I am already 25.

To the mother who gave me the best childhood memories.

To the mother who was not appreciated at times, was misunderstood, often neglected, yet never hesitated to give.

To the mother who was flawed and imperfect, yet always enough.

To the mother who did it all, and expected no returns.

To the mother who loved me to the exclusion of all else:
Had I been born to another mom, I would have run away and come find you.

Qat Chewing Gatherings are considered the basic means of socializing among Yemeni Women in the past and present. A Yemeni Woman would leave her house for long hours to meet her friends, chew Qat and have fun.

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