Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All Right Already: On the Word "Mom"

If I continue to write this blog, it means I’m a mother. I mean, let’s face it, this is, or will be, a mommy blog just like 50 million other mommy blogs. The fact it’s about adoption and hopefully anything else that wangles its way from my brain doesn’t make it any different than if I were to update 12 times a day about what my cute kids are doing now.

Problem is, I’m not a mother. Or at least that’s not the way I self identify, to use a pretty PC word. I hadn’t intended to become a mother. I was going to write for newspapers and for myself; become a careerist, before I realized that’s a crock of beans and that going to the office, even if it’s to track down and interview friends of a recently murdered woman, is still going to the office. Still about as fulfilling as….going to the office, day in, day out.

I wanted to be single and wacky and hang in New York with my single and wacky friends and drink cups of espresso in the Italian mom-run joint up the street and look at the cute Brooklyn boys and hear them verbally jousting with one another with their sweet voices and twangy accents. And I did, until I got sick of checking out the latest places and hanging in bars I felt too old for and percolating by myself all weekend in my Brooklyn apartment because I was too lazy to travel the 12 minutes “into the city” for the next big thing, which increasingly felt like the last big thing.

Boring story short, on my 34 birthday, after I’d dragged everyone to the Red Lobster in Rego Park ( don’t judge) and sat up late talking at a place nearby, out of my mouth sprang these verboten words: I just want a small backyard, a strip of grass to sit on in a lawn chair and nurse a beer and read all day. Such a simple thing, but it wasn’t to be found in New York. Certainly the quiet and peace attendant to that dream couldn’t be found by me. If I could I could afford a strip of grass, my neighbors on all sides could look down on me as I drank and read. As it was, I was squeezing myself onto a bit of fire escape to read and calling it my back forty.

The morning after my birthday I woke up not with a hangover, but with an epiphany. I wanted to be part of a family. But it likely was already too late.

To cut this off again, by some miracle it wasn’t too late. And being part of a family was even better than I thought it would be. I’d resisted so long, but now I’ve arrived.

But, having come to the profession so late, after trying on a million hats, and after loving it so much, I still think of myself as a mother…and then as more than a mother.

I guess I’m just going to admit you can be married and kid-having and still wacky and still crack jokes and drink beer in the backyard and read 1950s teenybopper romances while listening to cranked up Chad Mitchell Trio on an old tape made for you back in high school. Unfortunately, this all has to be done during Frankie’s nap time and Alvin’s short-lived self-entertainment hour.

But it still gets done. I’m still here. Mother and music lover and all.

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