As I sit on in the living room with the many animals around me; three cats on the couch; two dogs at my feet I ponder about my life.
I am a middle aged mother of two beautiful kids living over a thousand miles away and I’m still a mom.
When I say I’m still a mom I mean that I am “mother” to the menagerie of critters; some that are mine and some that aren’t. I’m also a sometimes surrogate of two beautiful kids; my niece and nephew. But the parenting I’m thinking of today is of my two biological children.
I became a mom almost exactly twenty-nine years ago on September 11th 1981 to a daughter. She came into the world quiet as a church mouse. I was terrified that something was wrong she was so unlike what I thought she would be. But beautiful; so beautiful. She was called a “little dolly” by her paternal grandmother and an angel by her great grandma.
Still when I remember anything about that day it’s the look on my husbands face. She was so perfect that she took his breath away. A friend that saw her after she was born said that she looked just like her dad; only it “worked” on her! And another friend said that my hubby was seemingly floating on air as he walked down the long hall to tell everyone the news of his firstborn child.
I wanted a son when we first found out; thinking that was what my husband would want. He corrected me and said he wanted a daughter; like his beloved niece Michelle. Michelle always adored her Uncle Leon and he adored her as well. But as I grew into the idea of parenthood along with my ever changing body; I realized that I wanted whatever “it” was. And as long as the baby was healthy I was fine. I would have a beautiful son three years later to complete our little family and make us both so very happy.
So on a fall day; my farmer husband woke early and told me of the things he wanted my brother to do and which field to go to; to relieve him when little brother got to work. I was restless that morning. I got up with my husband very early and took a bath and washed my hair. I painted my nails and cleaned house. When my little bro came to work I told him I sure had a lot of energy for a big pregnant woman and then it hit me….I was most probably about to go into labor. Or was in labor. I didn’t know for sure. I told him to drive CAREFULLY to the field; surely didn’t want anyone to have an accident! I explained that he was to tell my husband to come home right away.
Kerry got to the field in record time; my husband Leon said you could see a cloud of dust coming down the road for miles. Kerry stood there; grinning like a baboon to the point that Leon was sure it was a hoax. After all; we were told that it was rare for a first time mom to got into labor by her due date; let alone ten days early! So Kerry and Leon went round and round in this argument with my brother insisting that it was true and my husband sure it wasn’t. Reason finally won out. He came home.
I was waiting impatiently for him to get there to take me to the hospital when he finally walked in. He looked straight at me and honest to God I thought I’d punch him when he asked if he had time for a shower! I said NO! And off we went.
My labor was quick and intense and she was born five hours later. Six pounds five and a half ounces; twenty one inches long. And the look on her face as if she had the soul of a very old, very wise person.
Today my daughter turns twenty-nine and I feel that my life has never been more blessed; more full than when I first looked into her eyes and realized that things would never be the same again. I was a mother.
So happy birthday my dearest; my first born; my daughter. You can not know the feelings I have this important day as you are not a mother yourself. You cannot know the fears I’ve had; the tears I’ve shed or the hopes I’d had each and every day since that day long ago. You will live your life as you see fit and you will hopefully know that this day to so many a day of mourning but to me a day of rejoicing of me becoming something I never thought I would be; a Mom. And even though some in the world would think my celebration a sacrilege of the loss of so many when the day September 11th became a day of infamy; I say this. Life is about living; and life is to BE celebrated and I want you to always, always celebrate this important day to your dad and me. Because that day changed me forever; changed your father as well. This important; beautiful day of September 11th.
The day we found you.
Happy birthday Kristin!