"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Aug 14, 2012

Mommie Dearest


Gourd goose and swan
keepsake baby gifts
I understand the necessity of childbearing, but not all of us are cut out to be Mothers.  At age 16, I suddenly declared to Mom that I didn’t want children.  Her rapid response was,

“Honey, don’t say that to anyone; they’ll think there’s something wrong with you.”

And for a long time I didn’t.  In the 70’s it was still necessary to fight off the inevitable question,“When are you going to have kids?”, so I fixed that problem for good in my ‘30’s.
With gal-pal Rita, 1997
That preamble leads up to the checkout stand the other day.  My cashier was carrying on a conversation with the cashier next door.  Mine was visibly flustered by the number of customers and lack of support; something I can relate to, from my days at a Michaels craft store during Christmastime.

“Where’s so-and-so?”
“She started leaking, so she went home.”
 
I’m afraid I can’t just let a comment like that pass by untouched.   I was revolted, but simply said, “I didn’t need to hear that.”

Men can’t understand how women can turn on one another so quickly.
“She’s had a difficult pregnancy!”  Unwilling to incite a riot, I meekly replied that was unfortunate; plus I simply didn’t have the strength that moment to summon a manager to discuss what was undoubtedly my Politically Incorrect reaction.

Afterwards, I considered how men must feel when they are in the midst of birthing discussions, when they’re not active participants.  They’d get pounced on in a heartbeat.  I’m not in the least interested in hearing about labor pains, vaginal tearing or C-sections, and I’ll mow down any man who gets in front of me while fleeing (gulp!) a breast-feeding Mom.

Yeah, I know, it’s natural.  The same can be said about a lot of things, but when it comes to Motherhood, really ladies, if I was interested enough, I’d have had my own.

2009
Thank goodness lifelong pal, Rita, understands me.  We met when she was of the same mind, in our twenties, during the 70’s.  If half my life wasn’t packed away in Mom’s attic, I could show you a couple of real cuties.  Rita was the last friend I saw before my mid-life crisis whisked me off to Ruff Life in ’97, and the first to welcome me back 12 years later, solo.

“Are you done yet?”  I could see it in her eyes. With men, hot flashes or adventure?  Two out of three, at least for awhile.
 
Childless couples tend to have childless friends, but even after she and Tom defected to the other side, I continued to love them, and their two children.  I’m never around long enough for anybody’s kids to really get to know me, but I always enjoyed hearing about Pam and Tommy’s progress.  They're grown now, married, with kids of their own.

My heart was in my throat when I received an unexpected call from Rita.  I’d heard a radio broadcast and was thinking of Tommy in Iraq and feared the worst, which luckily was not the case. That’s when I realized that while I may not be a Mom, I can certainly have Motherly feelings, and that made me feel like less of a troll.

Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

2 comments:

  1. Love this and I am totally empathetic! Really like this idea, good job on bringing it all together.

    ReplyDelete

All comments are moderated for clean content prior to posting.

Contributions Appreciated!

If you’ve enjoyed this story and would like to make a donation you may do so here, with my thanks.
Original gourd art designs Copyright 2018 Andrea Jansen Designs. Please write for permission.