I don’t know how I did that. It was on my list. It was right after “get a good paying job” and right before “die with theatrics.”
My mother once asked me when I was young if I was going to have children. I told her I would have six. (I was raised Catholic, what do you expect?)
I even envisioned their careers – famous talented musician, teacher extraordinaire, maybe even a missionary or two. (This was the time before nerds took over the world or I would have wished for one or two of those too.)
One day I was thirteen suffering from my first menstrual cramps and the next day I was post menopausal with shriveled eggs. What happened to the years in between?
What happened to my eggs? What about my mother’s day gifts?
There was a delay or two because the relationship du jour didn’t render the correct father.
It was a different time. You didn’t have kids unless you planned to be married. Nowadays, that’s not a restriction although having a great Dad is still a good thing.
I blame part of this on my brother. His first and only child did not make you want to have children. This terror is a beloved pastor now fast approaching 50 but in his youth, yikes! Not an easy kid.
You can’t take them to the shelter to exchange for a puppy! You have to suck it up and hope they grow out of it. Most times they do.
That was counterbalanced by my niece (the daughter of another brother). She had wonderful kids that you just wanted to steal, every last one of them.
What a dilemma. My mother always said when you were unsure, don’t hurry into things but I don’t think she meant to wait 50 years.
The truth is that I do envy people’s relationships with their children. But as I look around, having that relationship is a crap shoot.
I know too many people who are estranged from their kids.
Life was different when I was young. My aunts and uncles all lived around me, most in walking distance. Now families are spread across the country or world limiting contact.
Families are also busier than they used to be. More stuff to do. Most Moms work outside the home.
My personal relationship with my mother was close and interesting.
In some ways I am like her but she was “more” of those traits that characterized her. I can be theatrical but I could never beat out my mother. She would say the darndest things then follow-up with “What? I’m just being honest!” or even worse “What? You were thinking that too!”
I also hated when she was right which she often was.
Since we were similar there was the occasional conflict but we “got” each other too. She was kind and supportive and fun to shop with (hmmm…that’s where that shopping gene came from!). She cared about how she looked (How does my hair look? Can you see my wrinkles?) but not more than she cared about her kids.
I was very fortunate to have experienced her as my Mom and wouldn’t trade that for the world. She’s been gone for 28 years and I still miss her.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom and to all you mothers out there!