Many years ago, It was a cold winter night in Pakistan and it was the end of the shift for our maid Sakeena. Before she was about to go home, my mom warmed up some chicken curry for her and gave her two rotis. I was confused as I saw her eat some of the curry while putting the big juicy meat pieces to the side. She ate half a roti and went up to our cook and gave him the plate. There was one and half roti and most of her curry along with all the meat pieces left on the plate. She told our cook very politely that her son had come to pick her up tonight and he was waiting outside so if our cook could give him the rest of her food . My mom saw this happening and told Sakeena to finish her meal and that she would send out a new plate of food for her son. To this Sakeena replied “No baji, its late and he’s in a rush and I’m full.” My mom gave her an understanding smile and packed up some food and gave it to her to take home.
I saw all of this and was very confused. Why didn’t she just eat her food and tell my mom to send some for him in the first place? Why didn’t she just wait till she got home to give him the food? I turned to my mom with these questions and my mom looked at me with a knowing smile and said “ One day you will understand”.
Today as my one year old took a nap, I decided to eat quickly. We had some leftovers from last night but not enough and I was in no mood of cooking. So I warmed up the rice and left the few pieces of chicken for my son. I suddenly remembered this incident that had happened more than 20 years ago. The incident of Sakeena and her plate of food. I finally understood. I realized that even though me and Sakeena had very different lives, we shared one thing in common. We shared a Mother’s heart.
We are mothers whose stomachs might not be full but our hearts are always full. Our hearts are full of love for our children and that is enough for us to be content. Our hearts are big and warm. So warm that even on a cold night , we don’t need anything else but our children to be satisfied. We put our children first even if that means that we come last. And, we do it all with a smile on our faces because in the end it is completely worth it. Thank you to mothers like Sakeena who teach us these lessons. And Thank you mom- Because today I understand.
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