that seems like such a selfish statement, especially when i know women who have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive, but my truth never came from selfishness, it came from fear.
when you're 6 years old and your mom dies it changes your perspective.
you see things differently.
you dream different dreams.
you want different things.
and the last thing i wanted to be was a mom.
but if i broke it down, the last thing i really wanted was to be my mom.
the mom that died and left her kids behind.
and so i never allowed myself to wish for it.
i never allowed myself to hope for it.
i never allowed myself to want it.
when you grow up as a motherless daughter you don't grow up wanting that.
any of it.
because it's too scary.
you don't dream of a forever family when your own forever is ripped away in the middle of the night.
you can't allow yourself to tell a child "i'll always be here for you" when you know it's not true.
it's a promise you know you can't make.
no, when your mother dies and leaves you behind you stop believing in always.
you stop believing in a lot of things.
and you put up a wall with real emotions on one side and what you want people to see on the other.
because that's how you survive.
that's how i survived.
i refused to miss my mom. i refused to be sad. i refused to talk about it.
and i told myself i didn't want something that i really did want.
and one day i became my own worst fear.
i became a mom.
and my life became a million unspoken "what ifs".
what if i die at 37 like she did?
what if i die when my children are little?
what if i die and never get to say goodbye?
it's an endless recording and it never stops playing.
what if i die? what if i die? what if i die?
when my son adam was born i caught myself holding my breath.
17 years later i find myself still holding it.
and when tommy was born years later i thought to myself "what am i doing?"
i still have moments when i think that.
what am i doing? what am i doing? what the heck am i doing?
and i feel my chest tighten. and feel myself start to panic.
and i feel myself smothering them, and holding them too close.
and i feel like i never should have done this.
any of it.
because every day, in the very back corner of my mind, a thought overtakes me. a thought that at any moment this could be all over.
this wonderful, crazy, beautiful life with my sons, with my family, could all be over.
but i stop myself. i stop myself from thinking that i never wanted to be a mom.
because even in the million moments of crazy panicked uncertainty i see the truth.
i feel the truth.
i know the truth.
and the truth is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in my life
was becoming the very person i said i never wanted to be.