Monday, November 9, 2009

on being mom

I had a night off last night. I've had very few nights without Hadley, so the nights I am without her are often spent doing nothing but think about her. I suppose normal parents would relish in this time to clean, do laundry, see a movie, have a leisurely meal in a restaurant. Not me... I get lost in thought, often dazed in front of the tube, thinking about my beautiful little girl and how much she has changed me.

Some day I will tell her how she changed my life. That not only giving me my name, "mom", but simply her joining my life, saved my life. In the months prior to learning of this being growing inside my womb (which I was sure was becoming filled with cobwebs now that I was in my early 30's) the universe started to turn my life upside down. My young father was diagnosed with late stage cancer. My job was entirely too consuming, especially given my family circumstance, and I had finally met the man that was going to be the one. Things were changing. Life was changing. And while there is good in that list, the bad was outweighing all the good. And at one point, I didn't know which way was up.

And then I noticed something different. My monthly visitor didn't come and I turned the stick pink. I panicked... "This can't be happening now!" But I soon embraced my future, and knowing about this being inside of me helped me to embrace the hard things to come. Losing my job for the first time in my life. And more than anything else, being with my father during his last days and helping him to understand that, even though he will be missed incredibly, it was OK to go. Actually, the fact that he knew about her made it easier. She made it easier. She will never know how much I needed her then.

So I gave her a special name... Hadley. My father's middle name. Although her coloring is far different from my dad's (and mine, for that matter), the share the same scowl and tongue chewing habit. She is stubborn and determined, just like her grand-dad. He would have been so proud of her and in turn, I swell with that pride on his behalf.

Being a mom has changed my life incredibly. The range of emotion is a side effect that I never anticipated. The love I feel is something I never expected. My life style is completely different. And even though I sometimes look longingly at those childless people who are out at happy hour after work and find myself a wee bit jealous, I wouldn't trade in my life for that opportunity again.

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