I was Never a Thinker


Today is my son’s 9th birthday. It still boggles my mind.

There are mornings when I wake up and it strikes me all anew—there’s a child in the room next door and that child is mine. I’M A MOTHER. I want to scream it to the world. The word single doesn’t really enter into the equation. Yes, I’m a single mother. Yes, I did this on my own, consciously choosing to have a child who wouldn’t have a tangible father in his life. And we’re a family, a perfect little unit that suits us just fine. His friends know he doesn’t have a dad and sometimes they ask questions—but most times they don’t.

I was never a thinker. This has always been my destiny. Motherhood was in my soul. Sure, it’s hard, but I look at my married friends with kids and you know what? Their life is hard too. Parenthood is hard, whether you’re doing it alone or in a traditional nuclear family or in a divorced family or in a same-sex family. But parenthood is also magical. It opens your eyes to world again. It let me rediscover the wonders of this planet.

I knew nothing about dinosaurs before I had Marshall. Now? I can name them all. Who knew Star Wars and Legos could be so all-encompassing? I remember walking him to preschool when he was 3. The walk for me alone took 5 minutes. I left us 20 minutes because there were cracks in the sidewalk we had to follow; there were water access pipes that had caps that NEEDED to be spun EVERY SINGLE MORNING; there were stories to be told and songs to be sung along the way.

Today is my son’s 9th birthday. He was born two days after my 40th birthday—the absolute best birthday present I ever got. I was never a thinker. I was always a mother. It took a few years of trying and the stars to be aligned in just the right pattern for that vision to become a reality but I am a mother to an amazing boy. And together we forge a path and embark on an incredible journey. Sure, we make mistakes long the way but we also light new ways of thinking and doing that fill my heart and make my soul sing.

I was never a thinker. I was always a mother. Today, my son is 9, and I feel so blessed to have him in my life.

Nancy Nisselbaum


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