jeudi, février 21, 2008

The parent thing

As a journalist, perhaps as a person, I'm skeptical about putting people into boxes-Republican or Democrat, neat or disorganized, theist or atheist, Yankees or Red Sox fan (yeah, I don't believe that one, either).

But one category defines me, and has defined me, for almost 30 years-that of mother. Back in my late teens and early twenties, I was an aspiring mother. The idea of raising kids lay in the future, a hope that carried with it an ache of sadness, because there was no man anywhere in my present. As time went by, I wrapped up those longings and left them in a back closet for a "someday" when I should meet a life companion.

Eventually, a companion... a future spouse arrived. And, later than many women, I was granted the gift of children. I knew, after that initial bumpy time, that I was born to be a mother. It is a vocation that gives me a sense of solidarity with women (and men) most unlike me, and of difference, of a gap of experience with women much more like me on the surface.

Although my spouse and I eventually separated, and we now co-parent (such a bureaucratic term for the gritty realities of divorce) we are bound together in this fundamental calling. Like many of you, I feel that everything in my life past was leading me down this path, and that being a parent defines, to a greater or lesser degree, my future dreams.

Yanno? I can't rationalize this, analyze it, or even make sense of it. Really. But I sure as heck keep trying!!!

2 commentaires:

Sue a dit…

I can very easily connect with this, yet interestingly it took my losing a baby to realize how much I really wanted this "vocation" after all (love the term). I was terrified my first-go round, yet as soon as I came to accept -- and embrace -- my role as a mother, I lost the one thing I had wrestled with. And now, two kids later ... it's the most complicated, beautiful, complex, frustrating, fulfilling, mystifying thing I could ever imagine. Thanks for writing this!

Offcenter a dit…

Oh, Sue, that is so difficult. I didn't know you two had lost a baby. That's losing a part of your life-you feel it almost physically.
I'm thrilled you have your two lovely ones-but I know that having two blessings don't make up for losing another.