I had no plan to become a mother. No preconceived idea that this would be the penultimate experience of my life. Mostly, I was terrified of the thought that being a mother meant passing along my foibles, faults and follies to an innocent child.
Why would I want to do that?
In fact, if asked whether or not we wanted children, my then husband and I would reply an unequivocal, “No.”
And then it happened. The thing doctors had told me probably was impossible, wasn’t. I became pregnant.
In my newly formed precariously pregnant state my doctor told me I needed to go to bed. For three months.
My friends laughed at me. Is your doctor crazy? No way can you go to bed for three months. You’ll be miserable.
It was the first of many life lessons my unborn child taught me.
No one decides how I go through each experience of my life, except me.
I had no choice about three months of bed rest. I did have a choice about how I experience it.
I could choose to be miserable.
I chose to fall in love. To lie in bed and savour every moment of new life growing within me and to cherish life around me.
In a journal entry from that time I wrote:
I think about you often. I wonder, what will you be like? What will you do in this world?
You’re very quiet inside me. Your movements are graceful and serene. I imagine your tiny arms and legs, your body suspended, floating in my waters. Yet, sometimes, I can feel you soar. I can hear your body as it ripples across mine, quietly evolving, experiencing the joy of life, protected within my womb.
I can feel you. I am with you. You are with me, where ever I go, whatever I do. We are one in this journey. As you grow and develop, my body grows and develops. As you move, I move. As I move, so too do you.
I mold myself around you to protect you yet must leave you room to grow. For grow you will and I shall have to let you go.
Yet, this journey we share now will bond us for all time. For I am your mother. Mother to you, child of my body. And though I shall never own you, you will always own a part of me.
That was 1985.
My first daughter was born on June 19th, 1986.
I have been a mother for almost 32 years. (And a grandmother for 3 months.)
I would not change a thing. I would not erase a moment, turn a different phrase or take a different step, no matter how painful some of them were.
In this journey of my life, I have done things I want to remember forever, I have done things that, no matter how hard I’ve tried, I cannot forget — and ultimately do not want to because, regardless of what I have done, I have been and will always be, my daughters’ mother.
Being a mother is at the heart of my being present in this life.
Being a mother has taught me what it means to truly, madly, deeply love another, unconditionally, without any expectation of their loving me in return. Loving another is not about getting love back. It’s about creating an enduring circle of love and choosing always to stay in its flow, in darkness and in light.
Being a mother has taught me to trust in the power of my own body to create life and to be life-giving.
It has shown me how deeply I can love, how completely I can surrender, and how absolutely powerless I am over another human being. It has taught me humility.
On June 19th, 1986 I became a mother.
Being a mother has been, and continues to be, a journey into the heart of what matters most to me; to know myself, in all my many facets, and to love myself in every way I am present in this world so that I can be present for those I love, in love, always.
Thank you Alexis and Liseanne for giving me the gift of being your mother. You have taught me that love is always the answer because in your lives I have found my heart’s song. It is a song of Love, forever and always.