Because there’s so much more to Eva’s motherhood journey, I thought I’d share it in a separate post.
I always wanted to be a Mama.
It all started when I became an aunt at the young age of 9, when my oldest sister (16 years older than me…exactly!) had her first baby in 1970. Fast forward to 1990 to when my last nephew was born making me the FAVORITE Aunt to a total of 5 nieces and 3 nephews whom I adored and still do. I changed diapers, babysat, spoiled, taught, played with, babysat, went to all sorts of sporting events… football, basketball, soccer, baseball…and school events…parties, field trips, plays, recitals…and babysat some more! These children brought me so much joy as a child, teenager and young adult that I knew I wanted a child of my own one day too.
BUT…in my early twenties I realized that I was a Lesbian and I thought I would not be able to be a Mama after all. In those days, women didn’t have babies on their own…(yes, I’m THAT old). So I pushed that desire down and put all of my energy toward loving my nieces and nephews as well as the hundreds of kindergartners I was blessed to teach over the years. And I put a LOT of energy toward them all!
I had two significant relationships in my 30s and 40s and we had fur babies together. We spoiled them ridiculously! At one point, after realizing that my partner really didn’t want to consider adopting a child (it was more possible by then), I had gotten another kitten instead! When that relationship ended, she kept all the cats and I went out on my own. To say I was lonely would be the understatement of the century. I had resigned myself in my late 40s that I was not going to become a Mama after all.
However, fate would have a different plan for me. As I was scrolling around on Match.com I happened upon this photo of a cute woman and an adorable little boy.
I reached out. She and I met for dinner. A few weeks later I met her and her 3 year old son at the NC Zoo and we spent the day together. I fell in love immediately…with both of them…and thankfully the feelings were mutual!
Now, 13 years later, we are a family. I AM a Mama…and I’m legally one, too! And it happened for me at age 46!! Who would have thunk it? I love him with all of my heart. Even though I missed the first 3 years of his life, I have been able to be the kind of Mama I always wanted to be…the playmate, the disciplinarian, the teacher, the nurturer, the gift giver, the book reader, the chef, the encourager, the tradition-maker, the experience-giver, the tennis mom, the “taxi driver” and so much more…all in partnership with another amazing Mom who has so graciously shared this little boy–now young man– with me. And even when things get hard (and believe me, they do) I navigate it the best I can with unconditional love for this amazing woman and her son…now, OUR son.
So, being a mom means everything to me! As someone who thought she’d never have her “own” child, I couldn’t be more grateful for the uneven path that I’ve been on that led me to motherhood.
P.S. Another chapter in this book of motherhood also includes an amazing foster daughter who lived with us for almost a year and who is STILL an important part of our family. The things she has taught me over the years just adds to this amazing journey of motherhood. But…that’s a story for another day.
P.S.S. Those first children (my nieces and nephews) continue to give me even more children to love…12 great nieces and nephews (I call them my niecelets and nephlets)! In fact, the 12th little nephlet was born just this past week. I remain so grateful and thrilled to be able to love and spoil them, too.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking…I can’t wait for you to read the book I write on them too.