The day I met my little brother, I was completely struck by his perfectly proportioned tiny body. He was soft and smelled good. I could stare at him for hours, observing every movement he made and his quirky sounds were somehow enchanting to me.
My mother seemed exhausted and my grandmother was there to facilitate the adjustment to our new family. I was ecstatic to feed him and help out. I curiously watched my mom changing his cloth diapers and quickly understood the difference between a girl and a boy (years later, when my son asked me “Why do you pee through your but?”, I wish he had a little sister to spare me from explaining:)).
In my new role as a big sister, I decided I was going to protect him and show him everything there is to know about life. I took my role very seriously and felt responsible for him. He grew right before my eyes and in little time he transformed into a little man with a big personality. He was an opinionated walk and talk machine.
Over the years, we bickered, smacked, contradicted, yelled, laughed, judged, helped and missed each other. I don’t call him often and I don’t see him enough, but I love him and he knows he can reach out to me when in need.
Fast forward to the day, I, myself became a mother to Paul – and the urge to nurture and protect was reactivated. From the tiny flutters to the continuous kicking I felt in my belly, the connection we established when I breastfed him and the many adventures we lived until present day, I am astounded how I evolved into a selfless caregiver.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting on what’s my most arduous motivation in life. The first things that came to mind were: to love and to be safe. Such basic needs, yet so complicated to achieve in a world where there is war, judgement, aggressions and inequality. And yet, my motivation keeps me hopeful.
In the end, being a sister and a mother revived my deep desire to express my motivation. Hopefully, you can take a few moments to reflect and see for yourself what your inner drive is…you might be surprised 🙂