It is that time of year again. Mother’s Day will be here tomorrow and it comes to me with mixed emotions. My happiest memories of motherhood are my own with my daughter. So, in honor of the day and all the joy she has brought to me I post “The Motherhood Matrix” here. When I re- read these words a year later, they ring even more true to me. They were penned for the #LTYM show that I participated in last year. What an amazing honor that was!
In the words of Morpheus….have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?
Motherhood began for me in the dream world. I was in love with a guy who was in love with me. We got married. We had a map for our future and we planned to ride off into the sunset together in our golden years. We constructed a blueprint for our lives. I became pregnant and all was rainbows and unicorns for a while. I decided I would be the earth mother. I took Lamaze classes and decided on natural childbirth. No epidurals for me. I took a fitness class for pregnant moms. Yoga pants became my friend. I made baby clothes, sewed quilts and cross stitched baby bibs.
Formula was out of the question. I contacted my local La Leche League and learned all I could about breastfeeding. When my child was ready to eat I would be making all her baby food. I bought a book called, “Baby Let’s Eat,” and memorized just about every recipe for homemade baby food. All was well. I was floating along on the happy clouds of the blue pill.
Suddenly there was a glitch in the matrix. I was in love with a guy who loved me…or so I thought. In reality be was in love with the idea of being in love. He found another and left in my fifth month of pregnancy. I was suddenly forced to swallow the red pill and was purged from my happy matrix. I tumbled down the rabbit hole and entered my own desert of the real.
Alone and bewildered I knew I had to find the strength to manage. The stress was overwhelming and consequently I went into labor early and my lovely baby was born at exactly 7 months. She only weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces and fit in the palm of my hand. My doctors did not expect a good outcome that early so they prepared me for the worst. “Unable to breath,” they said. “Lots of developmental delays,” they said. I went into labor and standing next to me, surrounding a clear incubation unit, were six members of the neonatal team, waiting, with their masks on and gloved hands up in the air. I did not have a rainbow left to stand on.
On my own I had been entering the matrix and visiting the oracle…for quite some time. I had asked God for a miracle many times over. I had been praying and talking to God to let me have a healthy baby. Just let her breath and let her be normal. And give me the strength to raise her on my own. Help me to be the one to influence her life in the right way. Finally the doctor said the head was out. Then we all heard a sound that filled the entire room. My lovely baby was screaming at the top of her lungs. She was breathing on her own! Suddenly I was a child of Zion and I was not afraid.
My daughter was perfect in every way, just very tiny. Once we were home I became that earth mom. I breastfed with no issues and made all her baby food. It was not easy being just “the one”, a single parent; but, I made it through all the fragrant diapers and sleepless night. She grew and caught up with other toddlers of her age.
The first day of nursery school was traumatic. I bet the nursery staff has never seen again, the amount of crying and hysteria as that first morning when I dropped her off. My daughter was the calm one. I was the hysterical one. They even had to call my work to be sure I got there without having an accident. Motherhood. Being “the one” is hard when up have to let go. But I did. With the terrible twos and threes, I learned that Citadel Mall is a great place for a child having a tantrum. My daughter’s specialty was to lay down on the floor and barrel roll about 8 to 10 feet, all the while kicking and screaming. That was a sight to see, by all.
Time passed and elementary school entered the picture. I was a room mother, attended PTA meetings and went on field trips. I never missed a chorus performance or violin recital. It was the same for middle school. I supported my child in every way possible. She got good grades and studied hard. I wanted my daughter to have the best advantage when it was time for her to venture out in the world. I remained “the one.” I felt I had to do double the work since I was the only parent.
I also wanted her to make good choices when she was out in world and with friends. For the most part she did until that day in middle school when she decided to play motorcycle. What’s motorcycle? Well, that was the same question I asked the school nurse when she called me. She explained that it was a lunch time game. All the kids get in a circle, hold hands and spin around as fast as they can. Then, one of them will let go and the one that spins out is the motorcycle. That day was my child’s day. She spun out, fell and broke her arm. Choices! She never played that again.
When she was in high school I helped with projects, if needed, chaperoned school dances and let her go out in the world with friends. There was distance in the matrix to allow her to grow. It was scary to let go because the teen world can be a very cruel place filled with drama, bullying and all the ills of society. It would be easy for a girl to walk the wrong path. We did have some challenges but overall my daughters’ youth was smooth. I thank God for that. She is not a perfect child but I feel like I did some things right.
Today my lovely lady is in college. She has grown into a beautiful young woman who is smart, funny and eclectic. Motherhood alone was overwhelming. I called on God, parents and church family often. Did I want things to work out in a different way with a father involved? Of course I did but that was not to be. I was blessed with motherhood as a single parent.
Finally in the words of Morpheus: “what happened, happened and could not have happened any other way.”