"What is one thing you want to see/experience before you die?"A list of obvious answers ran through my head - visit Europe, a Fugees reunion tour, world peace - but there was only one answer that felt true: motherhood.
No one was more surprised than I was with that answer. I have been struggling with the idea of motherhood for a very long time. Anytime I'm in a relationship, I can see myself having kids, but I associate that with the elation of liking (or loving) someone. When the inevitable break-up occurs, I stop designing the baby's room and I lose all desire to take up knitting. I remind myself how great it is to do what I want when I want - I go to happy hour, live music shows, parties, concerts, movies, poetry readings and gigs with my band. For a long time I didn't want to give any of that up, but I've done some quiet soul searching this summer and I realize that yes, I want to be a mother. My decision has nothing to do with a man or the fact that a lot of my friends are having or raising kids. I don't just want the baby shower and the cute clothes - I want to raise a child. I want to know what my mom feels for my sisters and me. I want to be a part of something larger than myself. This decision hasn't been easy but it feels right.
|My mom and me, circa 1982|
When I was a kid, I constantly daydreamed about what my life as a grown-up would be like. At one point I wanted to be a lawyer, then I changed my focus to being a journalist and a writer. I fantasized about being a "grown-up" and what life would be like when I was in my 30's (which seemed so far away at the time). I imagined I would be a Chicana version of Clair Huxtable - badass career woman with an awesome husband, five kids and a sassy attitude.
So far, I've only achieved the sassy attitude.
My life is so different than what I thought it would be when I was a kid. Even when I was in my early 20's, I thought I would have children by now. I am 33 (just a few months shy of 34) and the prospect of meeting someone to be in a relationship with -much less have children with- feels far away. Lately, I haven't taken anyone seriously because I just haven't felt... it. The spark. The feeling within that says "yes, this is right. This is your person." The only feeling I've felt is "that was interesting...NEXT!"
Since May I've felt like a spiraling piece of space junk - unattached and bouncing from one person to the next. Granted, I haven't been getting too emotionally or physically involved with anyone, but I feel like I have been giving too much energy to dating. Years ago, before my strike, I was a serial dater and by the time I went on strike, I was exhausted. Now that I'm on a dating streak again, I am aware of the extraordinary amount of energy it takes to casually date. It's flattering to be approached and asked out, but I want...no, I need a deeper connection with someone. It's pointless to date someone just because he's there - I need to feel a spiritual, emotional and physical connection. Dating someone for the sake of dating doesn't hold much value for me any more. It was fun, but I need to feel grounded. I need to be a tree.
I watch my friends whose lives have changed so much. Most of my friends are either pregnant, have recently had babies or are raising children that came into their lives. I am amazed by the people they have become - they are selfless and give so much to their kids. They admit that they miss going out and having drinks and not having a care in the world, but they wouldn't trade their families for anything. They, along with my family, inspire me and I can feel myself changing - I'm slowing down. Staying home on a Friday night isn't the death sentence I once considered it to be. Waking up early on Saturday morning to go to the Downtown Grower's Market feels a lot better than staying in bed until 1 pm because of the wild Friday night I had. Feeling like a tree gives me a sense of peace and it's time to plunge those roots back into the ground.
I'm not sure when I'll have a baby - or maybe kids will come into my life and I'll help raise them. I'm just getting myself back on track of feeling secure and that is what is most important right now. I still find myself daydreaming about the family I want to have and I trust that when it's time, I'll be a mother - sassy attitude and all.
Next time: Hot Boys
A friend from high school and her husband are beginning the process of becoming adoptive parents. The process is long and very expensive. They have reached out to their friends and asked for prayers, well wishes and donations (if one is able to do so). For more information, please click on this link. My wish is that their path leads to fulfillment...