To each of my Children,
I remember once… .a long time ago….I asked God…., "Do you think I should have a baby?" "It will change your life," God said back to me. I did not know exactly what he meant…so I laughed and said…”there would be no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations." …and you know how I love those spontaneous trips… But that is not what God meant at all.
God wanted to let me know that the physical wounds of child bearing would heal, (and for me it would make a great story….) He wanted me to know that becoming a mother would leave me with an emotional wound so raw that I would forever be vulnerable. I would never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire would haunt me.. When I saw pictures of starving children, I would wonder if anything could be worse than watching my beloved child die. I honestly can’t think of anything that would hurt me more. As a mother to you….I understand more what happened in my mother’s heart and head when Dougie died. I realized that no matter how sophisticated I wanted to be….becoming a mother reduced me to the, primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" could cause me to drop a soufflé or my best crystal without a moments hesitation. I feel that no matter how many years I have invested in my career, I was to be professionally derailed by motherhood. I arranged for childcare, but one day I was sitting in a faculty meeting and I thought of your baby's sweet smell. I had to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure that you were all right. I cut classes all day at AUM the first time you stayed at nursery…because I could not stand to see bigger children taking toys from you. I could not stand being away from the warm and smell of you. All of my every day decisions were no longer routine. When Eric, as a five year old boy, desired to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's it became a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity had to be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom….and believe me…the thoughts were there and very powerful. I almost had to clear the men’s bathroom….so I could just be there…in case Eric needed me. However decisive I have been in the classroom, I have second-guessed myself constantly as a mother. Looking at my grown children, I wish I could assure each of you that eventually I learned that I may or may not shed the pounds of pregnancy, and I have never felt the same about myself. I learned through each of you that my life, now so important, became of lesser value to me once I had a child. I would give myself up in a moment to save any of you, and also have hoped for more years, not to accomplish my own dreams, but to watch you all accomplish yours. I want you all to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks became badges of honor. My relationship with your dad changed…but not the way I thought it would. You all made me a whole person. You are the Ying to my Yang.
As your mother I have a special bond that I feel with other women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I wish I could vividly describe to you guys the exhilaration of seeing each of you learn to ride a bike. I wish I could have captured for you the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I honestly can say that I have tasted a joy that is so real it actually hurts. If you were here beside me right now….and were to look at me right now… you would see that tears have formed in my eyes. "I'll never regret having experienced motherhood with any of you. " You are all what gave life sense to me....and for that I will be eternally greatful.
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
11 months ago