I swear if I had known how much I would love being a Mom, I would have had kids much sooner and had several more of them. If you know anything about me though, this is a statement that is rather shocking.
When Brian and I got engaged, I remember telling him, “You need to know something about me. I don’t want kids.” I was casually hopping along some concrete “pods” like they were lily pads after a dinner one warm night as he walked alongside me.
“You’ll change your mind,” he said. And he proceeded to tell me it was nature’s way to make sure our species continued. Having been raised by an ERA-supporting Mom, I was actually insulted and reiterated my point that I did not, in fact, want kids and he better accept it if we were going to get married. I guessed he did because he never brought it up again and we still got married.
Two years later, I remember him standing in the living room of our new house. “I’m 30 years old, Ellen, when are we going to have kids?” I simply reminded him of that night on the lily pads a couple years earlier. Though frustrated I’m sure, he didn’t bring it up again and we built a marriage over the years that many of my friends tell me they envy.
Several years later with a major move to Delaware under our belts, I found myself at a photo shoot for GORE-TEX PacLite in California. We had hired a major photographer, Jim Erickson and he was working on a book simply titled, Mother. At the end of our shoot, a young mom and her 2- or 3-year-old son started spinning and; though Jim had put his camera away, he unpacked it quickly and began to “dance” with them as only a pro photographer could while he watched for a shot in the magic light of sunset. The mom appeared filled with joy and her son laughed and laughed as he spun round and round in her arms. That was it. That was the moment I realized I wanted to be a mom.
I never really wanted to “have kids.” I realized what I wanted was to be a mom. I wanted to know that joy and love that seemed in that one moment to completely intoxicating and unlike anything I had experienced in my life. Nearly ten years later, I finally got to become a Mom. It didn’t happen under the best circumstances since Catherine arrived way too early. She decided it was time for me to be a Mom, though, and we welcomed her into the world on a sliver of a moonbeam, weighing next to nothing. Though it was beyond stressful, I loved being a Mom to her.
I still love being a Mom – even if my steps into motherhood were harder than many. My second try was also difficult; I spent 16 weeks lying in bed trying to keep Sarah from coming too early herself. And though that was hard, it gave me the chance to have my daughter run in to greet me this morning and simply stare into my eyes with her bright, loving sparkling brown eyes. She didn’t even have to say “Happy Mother’s Day.” It simply was.