I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.
We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.
The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.
I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing.
But I loved that doll and would carry her around everywhere making sure she was warm and safe and loved.
I was also very gentle with her. Her head started to crack and I was so very careful when brushing her sparse hair, trying to keep her together the best I could.
Unlike my Mom who would brush my hair so hard each morning and pull it back into the tightest ponytail ever. If I moved or made a fuss about it, she’d crack me on the head with the brush and tell me to hold still.
Which is how I ended up with a pixie cut.
After Mom died, when I was 11, I stopped playing with dolls. That was about the same time my Dolly only had one eye that would close when I laid her down.
So I put her away and concentrated on whatever task was in front of me.
My biggest desire then was to get through school and start my life. I had friends I would hang out with, and enjoyed being a teenager, but I wanted to be an adult way too quickly.
My goal was to get married and have children and be a mom as soon as possible.
Which is probably why I got married at 16, the first time. But, I’ve already written that story.
After graduation I left my old life behind and headed west to start over. I had a moment when I decided that being a mother wasn’t what was most important to me. No, I was going to be a career woman.
How funny, looking back now and not realizing then, that it would take exactly one second looking into my first child’s eyes to know I was right where I wanted to be.
I not only loved being pregnant, I adored being a mother.
I’ve often said it was my favorite job of all time. I don’t remember any “stage” of their childhood that I didn’t like, except maybe the one that took them out of the house and on their own.
But that was just a moment of selfishness, because I raised them to be independent men, and that’s exactly what they are.
Now that I am nearing 60 and I can see them both treating me differently.
I’m no longer the mommy that takes care of them, but instead they have a gentleness towards me that speaks volumes of the care and concern they have for my wellbeing.
It is strange to be on this side of motherhood because I have always been the caregiver. But I can already tell, if the time ever comes in maybe 40 years or so, they will care for me.