If there is a cycle of karma, if we go through rebirth after rebirth until we figure out how to drop the sorrows of existence, then motherhood must be one of the top causes of samsara. I'd not only go through all this pain and grief again for those moments of joy, I'd do it right now. This morning on the walk to work, I heard a toddler saying "look, mommy!" It didn't hurt at first. I thought of Jesse, of course, the babyhood he left behind to become a man. But also of my cousin-- I remember him as a baby, a toddler, and loved him, but I don't mourn that babyhood as if I had lost him forever. I mourned Jesse's early years before he had even reached adulthood. Wise mothers don't tell that secret to their children.
My younger son and I were talking about (Godknowswhat) not long after his brother died. I was reassuring him about something, and said, "... of course I will. You're my emissary to the future." He liked the idea, but I don't know if he realizes what that means (who could?) Maybe that's why we keep our mouths shut about the past we have lost. Who knows how delicate a matter is the future.