By Mary Ellis

Miami News-Record

"Motherhood, what a concept."

That was a saying bandied around my high school more years ago than I care to remember.

Today, I realize that us teenage girls had no idea what it meant.

Current teenagers donít understand it any better.

I asked my daughter if she wanted to become a mother, in preparation for writing this column.

She said she didnít want to go through the pain of delivery and thought sheíd just adopt.

When I asked her what she thought motherhood was she said, "a challenge and rewarding."

Sounds as realistic as a concept to me.

She said she got it out of a book.

The first time I really noticed motherhood Iíd been married several years and had gone out to breakfast with my brother, his wife and their 2-year-old daughter.

The daughter was in a throwing stage, but my sister-in-law patiently fed her while her own food grew cold.

By the time the baby was fed, my brother had finished eating and wanted to leave.

I wondered at the time why my sister-in-law didnít just eat first, while her food was hot, and then feed the baby who didnít ingest much to begin with.

My brother would have waited another hour for his "princess" to get her meal.

Gloria told me it was a motherhood thing, that putting your kids first developed with the hormones of pregnancy and that I would understand if I ever had kids.

Sheís right, I did.

Iíve loved lots of people in my life, my husband, my parents, my siblings, and would do just about anything for them.

But my daughter Ö

Please, donít tell her, weíre having a battle now about one of her classes and she sees me as worst than the Wicked Witch of the West.

There is no just for her. Iíd do anything.

Thatís what motherhood is.

When I was pregnant with my daughter everyone, I mean everyone, told me to write what she did down. Sixteen years later I discover they were right, I donít remember all the special things she did.

What no one told me to do, as I was growing up, was to write down the special things my mother did.

I wish they had.

My mother died last summer from breast cancer and I find myself trying to remember when we did this or when she said that.

I guess like most humans I figured sheíd always be there. She always had been.

Maybe I will start writing things down, not for myself, but for my daughter. So that when Iím gone, sheíll at least have my side of things.