Raising Lola has soothed a deep scar of abandonment. “I have memories of sitting on my mother’s lap,” she remembers, “or laying next to her in bed and having her arms around me. I know how much I cherish those memories. I do have moments with Lola when I can almost feel transposed back to those times. I don’t so much see my mother mothering me as think, I’m going to be the mother 7 never had.”
Parenting has also brought Madonna closer to her father, who now owns a Michigan vineyard. “It’s helped me understand the sacrifices he made, having so many children and not having the privileges I have. He’s strict, he can be narrow-minded, but he’s a loving father. I have enormous respect for him. It’s hard to see that until you have children.
Madonna admits to “strong feelings” about having more children herself. “Obviously sooner rather than later,” she says. “I don’t think I have an unlimited number of years left.”
A second baby would add to the “nannies, housekeepers and assistants” Madonna admits she needs to keep her life on track. Lourdes visited her daily on location during Next Best Thing, shot near her L.A. home, and the two bond in the London recording studio after dinner every evening. With a sibling for Lourdes, says Madonna, “I’m sure I’d be a lot busier. I managed to work through my pregnancy and juggle being a mother and having a life. I’ll just be doing more of that.”
Looking none the worse for wear, no doubt. “I don’t want to sound immodest,” says Madonna, “but I don’t think that having a child has made me unsexy. There’s nothing sexier than a mother. Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer — I mean those women are sexy. If you’re sexy, you’re sexy, whether you have no children or five.” Indeed, she adds, “I’m in better shape than I was at 20. I always want to be young and vital. One always wants to feel attractive.” Sure, her daily yoga regimen has much to do with her appearance, but there’s something else too. “Being in love, being loved keeps you young,” says Madonna. “True, that.”
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