Mama’s Contentment


What is it about watching your children chow down on a good meal that makes you feel like all is right in
the world?

 Is it pride in putting together a nutritious meal that they enjoyed? Happiness that you’re able
to provide for one of your child’s most basic needs? I don’t know exactly what it is, but I do know that
my chest puffed up when my two year old asked for seconds, and then thirds, of the dinner I served last
night. My one year old happily munched on the same meal.

My deep-seated sense of well-being, brought on by my children’s hearty appetites, reminded me of an
apron-wearing, wrinkled nonna who delighted in stuffing me with pastries and pork roast and pasta the
last time I traveled abroad. My husband and I took a trip to Italy the month before we got pregnant with
our first child. While there, we visited some relatives that lived in San Marino, one of which was Aunt Rita.

Aunt Rita was ecstatic about our visit because she got to practice English and hear international family
gossip. I was warned before arrival that no matter how much I protested, food would be forthcoming. It
was true. The more we ate, the happier she got. It’s only now that I understand why she broadly smiled
as we forked her delicious meals into our mouths.

The contentment I get from my toddler having a full belly comes from the same place that sighs when I
see my kids, dressed in pajamas with feet, sprawled on their tummies, mouths agape, dreaming. It’s the
same place that swells with purpose when my kids turn to me as their comfort after a hard fall, a fear or a
tiring day. Where this deep-seated satisfaction comes from, I do not know, but I’m more than happy to let
it dwell within me.