Awaiting Maternal Applause

Guest post by Rivka Nehorai.

I have to admit, I’m expecting it to come at any moment. Applause, wows, gasps. Even, sometimes, looks of adoration in their eyes.

Low whistles of marvel: “So… you did it…”

They breathe slowly, eyebrows raised, head nodding, taking the incredible in.

”You had a baby…”

And I would lower my head bashfully, shrugging my shoulders, look at them, connect deeply, eye to eye, and say gratefully, ”Yes,thank you..I did. I really did it.”

And in a hushed corner, full of squishy pillows, we would curl up and I would tell them stories of pregnancy, birth, realizations after bringing another soul into this world, and we would marvel together at this miracle and my courageous hand in it.

Except no one is all that impressed.

I mean, I guess we’ve all been there, through it, down the birth canal.

So for now, I join the masses who pretend its great but not really that great, ignoring the sheer ludicrously and amazement I just endured. Moving on, moving forward, pretending.

But in my mind, I’m cheering myself wildly on, I’m comfying myself with pillows, wide eyes, asking for more reflections. I’m raising my eyebrows and shaking my head.

”Imagine that…” I say, patting myself on the back and giving myself a hug.

And to an extent, this inner acknowledgment is enough to ride the wave of astonishment until the numbness and mediocrity of life pleasantly takes over.

Until then, if you’re awakened to sudden silent applause and glee, you’ll know who’s responsible.

Feel free to join in, I won’t tell.

The sheer madness of existence will be our secret.

Rivka Nehorai (aka Mrs. Pop Chassid) is an artist and proud mother living in Crown Heights.  Check out her art and more writing at her website, Naftali Art.

  • Rivki Silver

    I’m clapping! Woohoo!

  • Chaya Aizenman Wilmowsky

    Beautiful. Powerful. Lyrical.

  • Arlynn

    As a woman with a child who took 5 years (and the help of many) to bring into this world. I still look at my beautiful 14 year old (Shaina – beautiful in name and person) and wonder at the gift that she is and how amazing that she is here.

  • Erika Davis

    I’m happy and clapping and so proud of you! Perhaps it’s the doula in me, but I’m always amazed, inspired and empowered by women who give birth. Congrats, Mama! You did an amazing job!

  • Chaya Kurtz

    You did it! Kol ha kavod! I am sending you a virtual pat on the back!