Wednesday, September 06, 2006
46, But Whose Counting
46 years ago today I was born in Asheville North Carolina. The first born of Vera Ann and David. When the nurse told my Dad he had a daughter, he told her "No, He was having a Boy". We never let him live it down. My Mom got a particular kick out it because my Dad and I had as close a relationship as any parent and child could.When we were being interviewed by our social worker for our homestudy she asked us about our childhoods and about our parents. She asked what our parents did right and what would we do differently than them. My answers were simple-They did everything right and I hope that I can be the same exact parent that they were. My husband told her the same thing .She seemed surprised, like that is not a common answer.I hoped that our children would look back at their childhood as fondly as I. I think that was the moving force that drove me to become a Mom, even at the age of 39 and after being married for 17 years. I wanted that same relationship with a child.So did my husband. We wanted to pass it on.I also think that is why we so easily chose adoption instead of having a bio. We were focused on the parent part, not the pregnancy part.All that my parents had taught me about being a part of family, the fun, the love , the memories. I knew it would be the one thing in life I would have regretted not doing.
This morning after my children left for school , I thought about where I was at 46.Or where I had been. I'd had two amazing parents, a idyllic childhood . School was fun, good grades came easy and I had lots of friends and participated in lots of activities.I went to college,joined a sorority(Chi Omega) graduated and went to work in a field I love. I got married and we traveled, never ran out of things to talk about and had more fun with friends and family than we can count.We'd had our share of tragedy.The sudden death of my father, 3 months after he had retired. His father's bout with illness that left him in a wheelchair. The death's of 3 of my 4 grandparent's and the death of my nephew at age 19 from Cystic Fibrosis. My Mom's late in life onset of a genetic neurological disease that has caused her to use a walker and wheelchair.My sister's divorce after 18 years of marriage, thrusting her back to work and caring for her two children.As I list these low points in my life, it looks like a short list for 46 years of life. I also see how so many of them had a silver lining. My father in law is doing great and I see now that because we did not have children when he was ill and recovering it allowed us to be there for him.After my Dad passed away, my Mom moved to Florida to be closer to her Mom and was there with her for several years before she died. My Mom is so grateful for that.Then my mother reconnected with an old high school flame, they got married and he is wonderful and really is a second Dad to me and a great grandfather.My sister is getting married in 3 weeks to an equally amazing guy and she is in love and more in sync in a relationship than she has ever been.Her kids are crazy about him too.My nephew was sick from the day he was born and pretty much every day of his 19 years. It was so hard to watch and I do not know how my cousin so bravely and gracefully handled it. It was a blessing in a way for me. It has made me especially thankful for my son and his issues. We may be struggling with reading, with speech , with other things.But he is blindingly healthy. He can run and play and be a child in every respect. We are not dealing with life and death. We are dealing with things that get better, we overcome and progress through.While I may be worried about his life in a sense ,I am not worrying about him dying. Not like she was. I see where every moment in my life put me right where I needed to be in order for my son to be my son and my daughter to be my daughter.
Today was my AH HA moment.
I realized that even if I could, there is not a single moment of my life, choice I have made, step I have taken that I would change. Because changing even one tiny thing would change who and where I am today.
Today I am a 46 year old Mom with a 7 year old son who has a spectrum disorder and a 5 year old daughter that will soon be out thinking me, I have a 24 year marriage with a man I still never run out of things to talk about.I have been to Russia 3 times instead of the maternity ward. Most days I never crank my car and I talk to my poodle. I love to go to the grocery store and I am a stain removal expert. Today I built a home for two hermit crabs and we are enthusiastically counting down the days to our next Disney trip.
I feel like the luckiest woman on the earth.
This is the present I am giving myself for my birthday.
and Cake.
I hope you get the same thing on your birthday.


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Anonymous debness said...

your outlook on life is both amazing and very helpful. We have now been in the process of adoption from Ukraine for one year. It feels like forever.We hope to travel in 2007 to find our little princess. Your words make the waiting a little easier. Thanks.

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