This evening I was sitting and chatting with my son, who is 6-years old. He was counting all of my moles and decided that I must have over a hundred. Then he told me about all six of his, the “cutest” one being on his pinky finger. I insisted that the one on his face right below his left eye is my personal favorite. Then I asked him how he got to be so cute. He pointed at me, explaining that I’m the reason he’s so adorable. That makes sense, I agreed, “I did, after all, make you.” Holy shit! I then reflected. I made him!! That shit is crazy! (Not that I wasn’t already aware of this.) He’s so big and so smart and so delightful and fun. And I’m responsible for bringing all of that into the world. I’ve always wanted to make the world a better place. And through my children, I already have. They certainly make my world much more fulfilling and enjoyable. I can’t imagine life without them. So here’s a little story of how their journey into this chaotic world began.
Their dad and I met when we were in the 8th grade. I was 13-years old. I can remember the first day I ever laid eyes on him. We were in the same science class together with Mr. E. It sounds unbelievable, I’m sure, to anyone who’s never experienced anything like this, but it was in that moment that I heard a calm, low voice say, “That’s the man you’re going to marry”. I wasn’t entirely convinced at the time. I mean, what the hell did I know?! We were YEARS away from being at that point in our lives and plus I didn’t even know the kid! But as time went on and I did begin to get acquainted with him, I fell pretty hard for the jock who managed to go for a nerd like me.
Throughout high school and then college we went on to have our share of ups and downs. I can’t tell you how many times I broke up with him. I would often fall for other guys because I didn’t feel like he understood me. But then, we were so young, I think I was also still trying to understand myself. He was jealous and insecure, which I thought was just an implication of how much he really loved me (wrong). And so I’d go back to him, assured that no one else could love me the way he did (again, wrong). Because here’s what I learned 16 years later: we were both perhaps too young and dumb to know what true love is all about.
When it comes to true love, the kind that is deep and eternal, you have to be willing and able to see your partner for all that they are and embrace them, flaws and all. You also have to be willing to be honest and able to grow together. While I did go on to marry the boy I met that day in the 8th grade, after all our years together, he never really seemed to take the time to get to know me fully. He wasn’t interested in the totality of me, just the parts of me he approved of, denying that there was so much more below the surface incomprehensible to his depthless mind. But I could not be who he wanted me to be and he couldn’t be anything more than who he was.
So alas, after 7 years, our marriage met its end. But not before creating two beautiful children who have convinced me that destiny is, in fact, what brought their father and I together. Because were it not for him and all of the choices and strong emotional ties that kept bringing us back together, our children wouldn’t be here. We made them, but it feels more like they were made for me. I don’t know if the voice I heard was “real”, meaning that it came from an alternate source. But I do know how real it felt. I’m not sure whether our love was ever real, meaning void of ego, but surely we had our moments. One thing I do know is how real my love is for my kids and how incredibly lucky I am to be able to say that I’m their mom and yes, I made them.