It’s these moments that catch me. This morning before work, way too early for my liking, I walked my three year old son and his bestie Elmo to his car seat and strapped him in. As he often does, he smiled and asked, “Hug, Mommy?” after I fastened his seat belt. I leaned in and hugged him, feeling the strength of his tiny little arms pulling me in.
I then brought my daughter’s infant car seat around and fastened it in place, bending over to kiss her downy head as she slept through the whole process, more beautiful than I have words to describe, cooing softly and smiling.
It’s these moments that catch me. When I am doing everyday Mommy things and I get blown away with how much I love these itty bitty humans that am privileged to call my children.
I loved my life pre-kids, I orchestrated great changes to help my little corner of the planet, I took crazy-fun vacations all over the world, I ate cashews with a Diet Coke and called it “dinner”, and I took classes after work in anything and everything that caught my fancy. And, it was a great life and I have few regrets, but there was always a subtle nagging, the call of my life-long desire to parent. I felt that call in college, but knew I had time to find a husband and get married and have kids or time to be Bohemian and accidentally get pregnant and walk with barefoot abandon in a field with my huge belly as the wind blew the grasses softly and I whispered to my child.
But, time passed and none of that happened. I just got older.
And I saw my dream slipping away. My dream of marriage could happen at any time and I was less worried about missing that, but my dream of being a Mom, not a step-mom, but Mom to my own children felt like it was slipping away with each tick of my biological clock. I would face acquaintances’ and coworkers’ pregnancies with a brave and happy face, but inside I was eaten up with sadness and jealousy—why not me?
Until one day, a girlfriend said, “Why not you? Why don’t you do something about it? You don’t need a husband to have kids.”
And, I’d heard it before, but I hadn’t been able to listen; I hadn’t been ready. Because, to deliberately take on single mothering seemed too big for me. I wasn’t rich enough or smart enough to do any such thing. But, this time, I didn’t let it go.
And I woke up many mornings of my “thinking” period terrified—what was I about to do? How could I possibly—? And the ultimate, How will I feel in twenty years if I don’t even try?
I took baby steps…literally and figuratively. I took quite a few of them. And, it didn’t feel wrong. I ended up here, strapping my kids—my kids—in their car seats and look at my beautiful family. My family that I had given up on ever having.
But now I know, having kids was one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s these moments that catch me.