Saturday, May 8, 2010

On Becoming A Mother...

Most people plan out their parenthood...have a career, get married, buy a house, get a dog, travel, grow your retirement plan, have kids. Not everyone plans it this way. I sort of stumbled into motherhood.

In my family, I was always the "good girl." I did whatever I needed to do to make my parents happy: excelled at sports, dance, music, academics...whatever I did, I usually did it well, not because I am naturally gifted but because I worked my ass off thinking it would make my parents happy. Upon graduation, I attended a very good Lutheran college in the midwest. My second summer home, at the tender age of 20, I met Erik at the car dealership where I was working. In typical Julie fashion, I slapped the "cool tag" (Thanks, Butch!) on him very fast and fell head over heels for him. A couple weeks later, we decided to pack up and move to the California coast. As you can imagine, my parents were less than thrilled. In fact, "less than thrilled" is a HUGE understatement. This move was my personal Declaration of Independence. Not long after we arrived at the beach we learned I was pregnant.

On May 11th 1996 I became a mother. It was Saturday at 1:48am, the day before Mother's Day, the day my life changed forever. Becoming a mother was extraordinary, as I think it is every time we are given the gift of giving life to another human being. It really is a miraculous event. Sometimes, when I think of how lucky men are not to have to deal with all of our female issues, I think they got the short end of the stick because they will never know how truly spectacular it is to grow and give is nothing short of amazing. To feel another person (or two) moving around inside of your own body is absolutely incredible.

I've been a mother my entire adult life. I've never known the feeling of being able to come and go as I please without giving a thought to anyone other than myself. I don't think I've ever resented that, instead, I feel like I had this amazing gift that other people didn't have...I kind of grew up with my kid, in a sense. By the time I started "Round 2", being married and having babies again, the other women were about my age or not too much older and everyone was married. This time, I fit in.

I love my kids fiercely. I would do anything for any one of them. I think we all mother in our own ways and I know that my way is very different from a lot of the other moms that I see around me. I used to think that was bad and that something was wrong with me that I seemed to be missing that "maternal piece". But now I realize that it's just my "way" of being a mom. I believe in a Master Plan and I believe these children were meant to be with me and I with them and so, I'm good with the mom that I am.

But, I think I'm losing one...Heather, the first born of my twins, told me as we were leaving the grocery store tonight and she was buckling herself into her car seat..."I really don't need a mom anymore." :) Happy Mother's Day to me!

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