For those of you who celebrate, Happy Mother’s Day. For those of you for whom Mother’s Day rips open your heart, I’m so very sorry. And for the rest of you, well, happy Sunday.
Growing up I would go on hospital rounds with my father to see his patients. The nurses thought it was cute, and would often ask me if I was going to be a nurse when I grew up. They never thought to ask me if I was going to be a doctor. Anyway, I always answered no. I knew that I wasn’t cut out for healthcare, even at an early age.
I wasn’t sure what profession I wanted to pursue, even into my college years. I had some ideas of professions I wasn’t suited for, but the right one didn’t just jump out at me.
The obvious choice would have been educator, but I couldn’t do that because 1. I was too smart, and 2. I was indoctrinated to believe that “those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.” How foolish I was to believe those two falsehoods. Good thing I got over that and eventually found my calling.
This isn’t about teaching, though, it’s about growing up and becoming a mother. No matter what occupation I was headed for, I always knew I wanted to be a mother. I could picture it in my head. There would be trips to the park, and learning to read. There would be visits to the beach and working on school projects together. There would be long conversations in the car and Disney movies. I was cut out for it. Well, maybe not the baby part so much, but the rest of it.
Fast forward several years, and not only am I teaching but I have a son. He’s twelve, and I love him with my whole heart. All of the things I envisioned have come to pass, and there’s so much more ahead. Being his mother is part of the fiber of who I am. Then things change.
I did not choose divorce. I did not choose to dissolve my family. It is something that I didn’t anticipate. I didn’t fight it either, because by the time it happened it was overdue, but I would not have set those wheels in motion.
I meant my wedding vows. I’m one who hangs on to things longer than she perhaps should. Still, it happened. In many ways it was a relief. But it one way it was devastating. I would no longer be a full time mother.
How is that possible? How could I continue on as if life is normal when I’ve gone from a family unit to all alone? My son needed to be with his father some of the time, I understood that, but I hated it. When he was with his father, he wasn’t with me. He wasn’t home. He was gone. I couldn’t parent him if he wasn’t there. I didn’t choose that. My heart was ripped apart.
I could stand not being married. There were even some advantages to it. In the long run, almost four years later, it was obviously for the best, at least for me. But what about for my son? Instead of two full time parents he has two part time parents. Not the same. Not good enough, in my opinion. I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that he doesn’t get either of us all the time. He deserves his parents. All kids do. And parents deserve their kids. At least good parents do. And I’m a good parent, just ask my son.