I don’t think of motherhood in detail. My theory is that if it was meant to happen, it would happen. However, with Mother’s Day coming around the corner, it gets me wondering – if things had turned out differently, would I be celebrating it in the capacity of a mother instead of a daughter by now? This week also in particular has been a specially blessed one where I have had quite a few good friends, friends who I think the world of, announcing births of little ones or early pregnancies. There is no doubt in my mind that these amazing people will make wonderful parents, and the news had filled what was beginning to look like a dreary week with a soft glow of hope.
Motherhood –a turning point in life. A few good friends have crossed over, a few are on the way, a few don’t want to, and a few are saying “not yet.” It’s become a political issue, a gay rights issue, a normal everyday issue, a choice, a responsibility, a right of passage, an accident, a mistake, a yearning, a desire, a fear, a risk, a journey and everything in between. It’s highly debated, and yet the details are mostly hidden behind a door where only women who have been there have the key. According to those who are there, it’s the one thing you can read a million books on and yet still have no idea how to deal with when it happens.
Apparently, no matter how you try not to have ideas of what your children are going to be like, they always end up surprising you (sometimes its closer to shock than surprise). Sometimes, your children turn out to be just like you in their views and ideas, and at other times, they turn out to be the complete opposite. It’s times like these that I think of my mother, and how although I sound just like her when I laugh and have inherited her smile (minus the dimples), most of the time I am a complete mutant compared to her.
My mother, the most settled and grounded person I know, while I can’t seem to land…. Yet. We are literal opposites. She keeps her heart guarded while I choose to wear mine out there on my sleeve. She lives attached to her land, her country, her roots, while I chose to fly away. She knows who she is while I am constantly rediscovering myself. I know that sometimes I scare her, especially with how I do things with no regard of how I might get hurt, especially with the way I just fall in love and remove all barriers to my heart. Yet, as different as we are, she has always tried. She listens when I speak about natural healing, drinking teas instead of ingesting medicines, why I refuse to take painkillers and has even come to a yoga class with me once. We fight like crazy when we are together, but we love each other fiercely anyway. It’s a crazy journey but what do you do? You try, then at some point, you just let go, knowing that the world will take care of your bundle.
I think of and look at motherhood from a distance, always feeling a bit like I had missed a momma gene. So far I have been the crazy aunt who smoked cigarettes and does what she wants. Now the smoking is gone but I still do what I want, and I am comfortable in that space. Then yesterday, someone asked me if I would become a mother and I had to look at it from close up, and it was no longer an issue of equal rights, politics, or rights of passage. It became about me, a choice and a responsibility, or rather a choice to take on this responsibility. And what I felt was a killer cocktail of emotions – love, fear, trepidation, doubt, desire, excitement, and a million other emotions in between. It was like stepping into the complete unknown, and this coming from a person who left everything she knew to go do her own thing.
At the end of the day, before looking at the political, medical, educational and financial system, motherhood comes from somewhere inside, something deeper and bigger. It’s that moment when you step walk into a door having heard stories of what lies behind but not really knowing anything about it. You wonder what kind of mother you will become, but the truth is you will never know until the time comes, because at this point in time you don’t know what this new person coming into your life will be like. But you know you will love him or her with all your heart. You know there are things you would like them to be but you must also be ready to let all your expectations go so that they can become the miracle they were meant to be. You will know tears and laughter, and you will know extreme sadness and extreme joy, and it will all be within a cocoon of love enforced with the strongest bond. You will never know what they are up to, but you will always know when they need you. They will push you away but they will always come back, and you will be there.
And one day, they will come to a point when they are faced with choices. They might leave, or they might stay. And no matter what their choice, no matter how much you want them to stay, it will be about their lives, and you will need to let them go. Why? Because only by letting go will you be able to let them fly. And even for me, that seems like the hardest part – letting go.
So, do I see myself as a mother someday? One way or another – either through the good old fashioned way, artificial insemmination or adoption, the answer is yes. Still I stand by my original philosophy that nothing will happen until it is time to happen. And for those of you whose time has come, congratulations. Know that whatever you do, however you do it, even if you choose to give your blessing away to people who you know are better equipped to care for them, it is always right, and through birth or adoption, you are a mother nonetheless.