Today is Mother’s Day. It’s one of my Hard Days, as I call them. One of the days where my face randomly leaks at any given point.
I’m pretty sure I’ve told you guys this, but I feel like I got “this close” to being a mother before Sawan died. I was ready to try for a baby a long time before he was, and it took a lot of “discussing” to get him on the same page, but, literally two weeks before he died, we had this amazing conversation and we decided that we would start trying as soon as we got the salon sold. The closing date for the salon was September 1, and he died on August 24, so I never got the chance. I have people that ask me, when they find out that I’m a young widow, if I have children, and when I respond “no” they say that I’m lucky. I want to punch them in the face. I feel like I lost my husband, but I lost my babies, too.
It’s a complicated thing, this being 36 years old and childless. I (except for a brief period in my self-centered twenties) always wanted to be a mom. I was one of those little girls that carried around a baby doll everywhere I went. I know that I’m not the only woman that is constantly feeling that it’s almost too late (or maybe it already is and I don’t even know) to be a mother. The pressure that that puts on relationships is ridiculous. The pressure that it puts on me to be in a relationship is enormous. I just stayed in one way too long and one of the main reasons was that I thought it might be my last chance to have a family.
Here’s what’s strange about that. When Sawan and I were dating, I was (and still am) this super strong, stubborn, independent woman. I made a big deal about not needing him to come and rescue me. I think that somewhere in the beginning of our relationship we watched Jerry McGuire on TV and we talked about how neither of us needed the other one to “complete” us. Gag me. I don’t buy into that line of thinking in relationships. He was a soul mate, for sure, and I loved him with every part of my being, and when I lost him I felt like I had lost part of myself, but he didn’t complete me. After we were married, though, I think I somehow bought in to the world’s idea of what a woman should want and be. I read all of the sappy quotes about how you’ll never know true love until you have a child. I thought I needed a child to know how to really love. I thought I needed a child to complete me.
It’s taken a long time, but I’ve finally come to the realization that that way of thinking is so wrong. You know, this may be “it” for my life, and that’s ok. I guess I’ve just realized that for now, I’m as complete a person as I’m supposed to be. I’m as complete a “lover” as I’m supposed to be (at least at this moment). If I was
supposed to know how to love like a mother, then I would be a mother.
Don’t get me wrong. It is my heart’s deepest desire to find another love, to have again the kind of man that I can imagine being on a team with for the rest of my life. And then, to get to have a little person grow inside me, to get to hold a tiny baby that has half my DNA, to get to teach them all about life, to hear someone call me “Mommy.” I hardly ever spend much time thinking about it because it hurts so bad knowing the dream may never come true.
I think that there are lots of women out there who feel similarly to me, who, for whatever reason, have not had life turn out the way that they thought it would. If you’re one of those women and you’re reading this, to you I say, “Don’t buy into it! You’re a whole person just as you are!”
And, who knows? I may still get to be a mom. All of those dreams could still come true. But if not (or until then), I’m going to practice being the best lover of people that I can possibly be. I’m going to love with all of the love I know how to love with.
On this Mother’s Day, I’m thinking about how I get to love on my siblings’ and cousins’ and friends’ kiddos. I get to be “Auntie” and “Tia” and, sometimes just “Noey” (it’s awesome when I get to be “Noey” and the kids have to call all the other adults a formal “Miss So-and-So”). I get to be a daughter to an awesome, still living Mom, whom I actually really like (and got to spend Mother’s Day with today, don’t think I don’t appreciate how special that is).
I don’t need a child to complete me. I’m whole and complete, just as I am. (It sure would be nice, though.)