Not bad for a fat girl


I Never Wanted to Be a Part Time Mother

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. Broken-Heart-41
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.



Sixteen Years Ago Tonight

16thbday-297x300Sixteen years ago tonight I was in my second long day of labor.

Sixteen years ago tonight I watched my then husband and my then mother-in-law play cards as they waited.

Sixteen years ago tonight I walked around the outside of the hospital grounds in two surgical gowns (one open in back, the other open in front) and a pair of tennis shoes.

Sixteen years ago tonight I was vaguely aware of the inaugural game of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team.

Sixteen years ago tonight there was a commercial for a pesticide company on tv featuring a kitchen infested with roaches. I detest roaches.

Sixteen years ago tonight I was actually happy to have someone insert a needle into my back.

Sixteen years ago tonight I told my then husband that next time he would go through this experience instead of me. There was no next time.

Sixteen years ago tonight I worried that a child born on April First might be teased.

Sixteen years ago tonight I felt myself drifting above myself and hated the feeling. It passed before too long.

Sixteen years ago tonight I was attached to a heart rate monitor.

Sixteen years ago tonight the nurse couldn’t find a suitable vein in my arm so she used my hand and gave me a tremendous bruise.

Sixteen years ago tonight my mother and father came out in the middle of the night to see their first grandchild.

Sixteen years ago tonight I visualized my happy place, a warm jacuzzi surrounded by palm trees and clear blue skies.

Sixteen years ago tonight I was almost ready to give up on labor and ask for a c-section.

Sixteen years ago tonight I found my strength. I would need it for the days my baby was in the NICU.

Sixteen years ago tonight I thought I was ready.

Sixteen years ago tonight March became April, and I became a mother.


You’re Not My Friend (the Sometimes Sting of Motherhood)

I need you, Mom. I know that since I’ve become a teenager I act like I don’t, but really I do. I need you to take me to school and sign my permission slips and pay for sports. I need you to clean up after me and buy me clothes and make sure I get to the orthodontist. laundry-1024x808I need you to take me to the doctor if I’m sick, and make sure I take my medicine. I need you to make sure I have a comfortable bed and tasty food and the latest video games and cable television. I need you to go grocery shopping so I can have snacks I like and I need you to pack my lunch, whether or not I feel like eating it.  I can’t possibly be expected to do all those things for myself.

Sometimes I have projects; then I need you to drop everything and take me to the office supply store to get poster-board or chart paper or a glue stick. Sometimes I have clubs after school, then I need you to pick me up at a different time, and oh, by the way, can you drop off my friend at his house too? imagesSometimes I forget my book at school or at Dad’s or somewhere else so I need you to take me there, unless it’s too late. Then I need you to listen to how I didn’t know I needed it but I really do need it and I need you to believe that it’s not my fault that I have an impossible problem.

But you know what I need most of all? I need you to be my Mom. I need you to understand that sometimes I’m going to be a jerk, but I still love you. I need you to understand that you’re not the same age as me, and it’s embarrassing when you try to act like you are.  I need you to be nosy and know where I am and what I’m doing, even when I hate you for it. I need you to say no, and I need you to protect me from my own stupidity. I need you to know that just because I keep my distance from you, I still know I’m your kid, and I still know that you love me. I need you, Mom, more than I will ever admit.