the rest of me…

Long ago, before my job as referee, taxi cab driver, boo boo mender…I was half a person. I never knew parts of me were missing; I thought the feelings of emptiness were consequences of the many bad choices I’d made in my life. The hardness I’d created to act as my armor against the disappointments in life that I knew all too well, seemed indestructible, even against my own desires to destroy it. There were moments I’d dreamed of becoming a mother, but the years passed and doubts of obtaining that dream cast shadows so dark that I learned to stop wanting what I couldn’t have. Somewhere between convincing myself that a career could fill that emptiness and pretending loving a man was enough, a desire lay dormant. And then came God’s plan. A pregnancy unexpected. I didn’t have the marriage or the perfect white fence surrounding my perimeter. I had me. I had memories of mistakes. I had a man who loved me but also carried his own doubts of his abilities to be a father.

I’d like to say there were never moments of doubt that I could pull this motherhood thing off; after all I didn’t fit into the mold that society had deemed appropriate. I had a career, I had a dog, I had a loft apartment in the cool part of the city – where could a child fit into the chaos? From the second that little pink line formed a perfect circle instead of an X, I knew my destiny had been decided. Not once did I regret her existence, her permanent fixture in my life. It felt like a second chance to rewrite the ending to my story; an ending written by the loss of hope. If I tried to write into words how it feels to have hope where once there was none – I’d fail miserably for words could do it no justice.

The moment the doctors laid my child in my arms, the emptiness disappeared. The hardness that once had become the decorative exterior of my life – receded. I didn’t care that this new found life didn’t fit into society’s definition of “acceptable”; Acceptable became a definition I no longer needed to define. I was a mother and for the first time in my life – that is all I ever needed to be.

Now that I’m married with two children living in the house in the burbs society seems to deem me ‘normal’ but I celebrate the fact that I became a mother through God’s choice, through His plan – not my own. When I stopped looking, when I’d given up hope of being anything more than what I was – I found the rest of me.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who have been lucky enough to find that missing piece.

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