Monday, August 27, 2012

Finding Footing

What does it means to mother when one is not a natural mother? Or am I? Is a natural mother a person who spent her childhood longing to mother and to be married. I don’t know why I say I’m not a mother by nature, just because I spent my 20s and then some of my 30s eschewing motherhood. It’s not, after all, something you study for or learn, as if preparing for a career. Or maybe it is.

Finding myself pregnant I was terrified I would lose myself. But then I found my way and here I am. Still. And with Alvin as a cohort.

And then, with adoption, I did trust I would find my way. And did (so far).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Many Lives in One

What I don’t get is how I’m a single early 30s chick living in “the city” in my little yellow, purple, and green Williamsburg walk-through and going out with wacky gay friends to bars with names like Dicks and The Cock (as in rooster) and with cool-chick single gals to basement bars whose names escape me now, and yet I’m a middle-aged mother living in Middle America with mid-level income (maybe) and with two kids and a husband.

How did those two things happen in the same lifetime? A lifetime that also included waking up as a 20something to my hipster Minneapolis life of leisure in a rented room in somebody’s house on a frosted-over freeze-breath day that might include a walk around the lake with Mike, then over to Jen’s house to act out video dancing moves from a Sade video, including a fake rebirth (at our height of new-age jest because the country was then at its new-age height) and then a night at the Entry gladly inhaling secondhand cigarette stink and the sounds of local band number 52 and pointing out cute boys and worrying over my baby face and my small pig eyes and lack of eyebrows and eyelashes (perennial too-blond crisis and, yikes, perennial just autocorrected to peri-anal). And the joyousness of figuring out what to wear to such events. I once attended a Timberwolves game and then walked over to the Entry with Jen in a long turquois embroidered dress over a black slip with black tights and, likely (though I don’t remember this for sure) high-top Converse All-Stars. I wish I hadn’t thrifted back that dress. I think of it monthly. I recently tried to buy its replacement on eBay to niggling reward.

And not to mention the late-twenties, when I lived in an upper Duplex near Uptown (Minneapolis, again) with the three male comedians. And then I bought a house nearby and became a landlord to two of the comedians.

And the mid-twenties, when I had a quarter-life crisis about turning 25 (geez) and moved to Winona Minnesota to work two years as a cops and courts reporter on a small newspaper and listened nightly to the polka hour emanating from the basement of a Wisconsin-man’s home set-up. And was serenaded with the beer–barrel polka by a boy standing on top of a table at an over-the-border Wisconsin biker bar. And made a close group of misplaced from the city friends working for peanuts and trying to pad our resumes in hopes of a one-day glamorous job in an industry that no longer exists (newspaper journalism).

And then the early midlife crisis when I moved back here and then two months and one week later met Dan and then one year and a couple of months later found myself knocked up.

A landlord. A homeowner. A New Yorker. A mom.

How do we all fit all our lifetimes into one? It’s sad, really, remembering so many lives, as if I were Morris the cat muttering to myself about food. But I’m happy to have been all these things. And my hope is that even as I’m a member of a family and a mom and a friend and daughter and all those other roles I mostly always was, I’m still surrounded by characters and still always morphing.