This post was written by Laura Burns:
From the moment I first held each of my babies in my arms, my heart felt like it was exploding over and over with love. I had no way of comprehending how much of myself I would be willing to give to these tiny little beings. I had no idea how radically changed my life would be. Oh sure, I knew what other parents told me I’d feel, and I read all the research about bonding. But until I saw the face of that sweet baby, I couldn’t comprehend the actual depth of emotion tied to the experience of motherhood.
A mother is a special breed of strength and love. As we raise our children, we see a change in ourselves. What was once so important gets pushed aside in favor of caring for our little ones. Love is why we endure 41 hours of labor. Love is why we get up 12 times a night to soothe a fussy baby back to sleep. Love is why we make up songs about our children’s toes to make them laugh when everything is going wrong. Love is why we know the perfect shapes to cut a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Love is the reason why we feel pain watching our children suffer through an asthma attack. Love is the reason why we fight so hard for clean air for our children to breathe.
Because I love my children, I make the best choices I can for them. As parents-to-be, we spend hours researching birth methods, car seat choices and the perfect bedtime story. Our infants grow and develop and more choices are in front of us. There are new challenges. In a way the challenges are harder because we are no longer able to protect our children by wrapping them in our arms and holding them close. Our children want to and should be able to run and play and grow and explore. I cannot imagine a more idyllic day than spending it outside with my family. And yet, so many children can only imagine a day like this.
Asthma. Pollution. Mercury. These three words are three reasons why a child couldn’t spend an afternoon outside enjoying a picnic with his family. Three more reasons for a parent to want to protect their child. And three more reasons to channel that amazing, powerful love of a mother into fighting. Because of this love, this is why I fight for clean air. This love is what makes me keep pushing for more protections for the air my children breathe. This love is reason why I stand with millions mothers and demand a change.
Photo: Robert Whitehead