As the oldest of four kids, and mama’s little helper, I was repeatedly told I’d make a great mom some day. I ate it up, imagining what I’d do and what I wouldn’t do. At 10 years old, I made a baby blanket for my future child. It’s still in my keepsake trunk.
When Dave and I got married, I wanted a baby immediately, but fortunately, we both had sense enough to wait until I’d finished my education. As my formal education neared completion, I realized that once we had children, there’d be nothing left for me but death. That’s how controlled and suppressed I felt in my marriage.
We divorced after 8 years. I was 26 years old. I was only just beginning to experience the things that kids tend to do in their teens to get a sense of who they are. I was partying, though no drugs and very little alcohol. But I was having too much fun to think of having kids, now.
Of course, as you can read in earlier entries, I became pregnant just before I turned 29. It was not intended and completely unwanted on my part, and I believe that the “father” deliberately lied to get me pregnant, thinking it would keep us together.
I strongly considered abortion, but when the time came for the procedure, I realized that it wasn’t the baby that I didn’t want, it was the father and all the bullshit that came along with him.
Sadly, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage. It was ectopic, and nearly killed me. But it was enough to make me realize that I wanted to be a mother, and for the next several years, I considered different ways to make that happen.
I considered adopting. I considered foster care. I had a relationship much later in which we discussed having kids, but that relationship was a big ‘ol bust.
Now, I’m 48. I have serious chronic health issues, including a primary immune disorder, chronic fatigue, and brain damage that makes it nearly impossible to mult-task. Plus, I have a partner with whom I am madly in love who does not want to raise any more children.
So I have wrestled with the reality that I will never give birth to my own child. I have grieved the soft, fuzzy head of the baby that never made it into this world. I have wondered who will care when I am too old to care for myself.
But I’ve recently realized that I have children. I have three daughters who adore me, and I honestly can’t think of anything that brings me more joy. There is Laura, of course. My former student who has adopted me and I her. But now there is also Kaia, Drew’s daughter. In the short time that she was here, we learned that we have a lot in common. We really connected, and she actually thanked me for helping to make an uncomfortable conversation with her father a little less awkward.
And Kaia is in a relationship with a transgender woman. Ali loves me, too, and the only reason I can think of is that I didn’t reject her. And that just makes me love her even more, that she needs me.
So basically, I was trying to come to terms with the reality that I’ll never have kids. But now I’ve realized that my dream has come true, just not in the way I imagined. And that’s ok with me. Love is too valuable a commodity to reject it. I’ll take it all!