Thanksgiving 2011

I recently read a blog post that changed how I look at my life (Thanks, Kendra, for posting it on FB). Here is an excerpt (Read the whole thing here: the sage mama) :

“This is what women do not tell each other. I want to say it here: You will die when you become a mother and it will hurt and it will be confusing and you will be someone you never imagined and then, you will be reborn. Truthfully, I have never wanted to be the woman I was before I had children. I loved that woman and I loved that life but I don’t want it again. My daughters have made me more daring, more human, more compassionate. Their births have brought me closer to the earth and they have helped me pare my life down to its essentials. Writing, quick prayers, good food, a few close friends, many deep breaths, love, plants, dancing, music, teaching-these are the ingredients of my/this new self. I waited for this new self in the dark, in the bittersweet water of letting go, in the heavy heartbeat of learning to be a mother, against the isolation, I grew and emerged laughing and crying and here I am, sisters and brothers. Here I am.”

A few weeks ago, my very best girlfriends paid me a visit for a weekend. We went to the coast and talked for hours, drank wine, ate, walked on the beach, and talked and talked. And I realized I had become that person who promotes having children. What? you might say. Hold the damn phone.

But I have. Who is that person? Who am I? I hardly recognize myself.

My friend Kendra posted that link at an opportune time, as it perfectly explained my metamorphosis from a proud nonparent to a reluctant and confused parent to a mother. It explained why, although there are times I’d give my iPhone for a quiet moment (ok, not really), I’d never wish to return to my childless life. In three short years, Cassidy, and now Hannah, have changed the core of me, moulding me into someone who cries when any child is hurt, who thinks deeply about disasters and disaster planning, who would gladly give up her life for her childrens’, and who gets it. I feel like I get it now.

Before I had kids, I was totally anti-kid, and honestly, I still don’t like them that much (I mean, I love my own, but I’m not the kind of person who runs across a crowded restaurant to ogle a baby, or even ogles any baby, ever.) But I think kidless folks are, indeed, missing a piece of the human experience that you cannot obtain any other way. Your heart will never feel so open and sometimes so abused and raw, but also so full.

This statement above is not a judgement, and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong not to have children. I think it’s actually a selfless act to remain childless, given the current state of our planet and the generally primal need as a living organism to reproduce oneself. As hard as I tried to remain childless, look at me now.

(Pregnancy and childbirth are none of this, by the way, so it has nothing to do with whether you choose to have biological children, or adopted children, or whatever. I got nothing but pain and suffering out of my pregnancies, and I think this, Orgasims (misspelling intended) and Child Birth, is a load of total bullshit. Childbirth can be empowering, but is not, in my opinion, connected to the change you experience as a parent.)

So, to my daughters on this Thanksgiving day, I want to thank you. You are annoying as hell, you keep me up at night, you cry at the wrong times (I can’t even write a blog post, Hannah?) , you poop and pee all over the place, you strangle the dog and sit on the cat, you leave your blocks around, you drool and spit up on my work outfits 5 minutes before I have to leave, you have removed the “me” aspect of my life. But I love you. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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3 Comments

  1. Peter said,

    November 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    This is one of the best things i’ve read in years.I love you so much.

  2. GrammaZam said,

    November 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Told you so:>) And those feelings only get stronger and deeper.

  3. Lynn said,

    December 10, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    You’re a great role model, Lizzie. Thanks for sharing. – Lynn


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