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We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations ..."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, 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 emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "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 manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub.  That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.  I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.  She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell.  She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions 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 McDonald's will become a major dilemma.  That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.  However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.  That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child.  That she would give it up in moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years-not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.  I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.  My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.  I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.  I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.  I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.  I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.  I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.  My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

"You'll never regret it," I finally say.  Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.  This blessed gift from God ... that of being a Mother.

Jerry's Haven N Tell Mother's Day Special

Sending You A Special Wish On Mother's Day

Mother's Day Crafts

Dear Mother

Mother's Day Cards

Mother's Day Printable Coupons

You Know You're a Mom When...

10. You automatically double-knot everything you tie.

9. You find yourself humming the Barney song as you do the dishes.

8. You hear a baby cry in the grocery store, and you start to gently
sway back and forth, back and forth. However, your children are at
school!

7. You can never go to the bathroom alone without someone screaming
outside the door.

6. You actually start to like the smell of strained carrots mixed
with applesauce.

5. You weep through the scene in Dumbo when his mom is taken away,
not to mention what Bambi does to you.

4. You actually start understanding the Klingon language.

3. You get so into crafts you contemplate writing a book called 101
Fun Crafts to do with Dryer Lint and Eggshells.

2. You spend a half hour searching for your sunglasses only to have
your teenager say, "Mom, why don't you wear the ones you pushed up
on your head?"

1. You are out for a nice romantic meal with your husband, enjoying
some real adult conversation, when suddenly you realize that you've
reached over and started to cut up his steak!

Mother's Cake
 
Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Almonds; Skinned
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate; Chopped
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
6 oz. Sweet Butter (Unsalted)
6 large Eggs; Yolks and Whites Separated
1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
Icing Ingredients:
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
2 tsp. Instant Espresso or Coffee Powder
8 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate; Chopped

Preparation:
Toast almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 350-F degree oven for about 15-minutes or until the almonds are lightly colored and fragrant. Make sure to shake the pan occasionally to turn almonds while toasting.

Pre-heat oven to 375-F degrees. Spray the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with a non-stick cooking spray. Dust lightly with flour or very fine, dry bread crumbs. Shake out any excess and set prepared pan aside.

Warm chopped chocolate in the top of a small double boiler over warm water set at moderate heat. Cover until partially melted, then stir until smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/2 cup sugar and place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the almonds in a food processor or blender and chop until nuts are fine and powdery. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter until soft. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and reserve the remaining 1/4 cup sugar for use later. Beat sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue to beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and blend on low speed until combined. Add almonds and continue to beat mixture on a low speed setting.

In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with salt and lemon juice. Start on low speed and gradually increase until the egg whites hold a soft shape. Reduce speed again and add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Then on high speed, beat egg whites to soft peaks.

Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture about one-third at a time until blended. Pour the cake batter into the prepared spring form pan an quickly rotate to level the batter. Bake for 20-minutes at 375-F degrees, then reduce heat to 350-F degrees and continue to bake an additional 50-minutes. Remove cake from pan when cooled, after about 1-hour.

To prepare the icing, scald the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until a thin skin forms on the top. Add the espresso or coffee powder and whisk to dissolve. Add the chocolate and whisk to dissolve, for about a minute or two. Remove from heat and continue to stir to finish melting the chocolate. Let icing cool for about 15-minutes, then pour over the top of the cake, starting at the center. Gently push the icing with a spatula over the sides to dribble down the cake. Top with shaved chocolate, or whipped cream just prior to serving. A fresh strawberry is an optional garnish with each served slice.

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