Being an admitted drama queen during my early twenties and dealing in the business of self-preservation through expensive counseling to overcome PTSD from the abuse I’d endured as a child, I swore I’d never have children. Somehow, though, my little niece (who now, at age 15 towers over me) broke my reserve with goofy smiles, laughter, tight hugs and kisses that were usually sticky from something she’d eaten or drunk, and especially the wonder in her huge, dark eyes, at things I had begun to take for granted. At the age of 24, I began to really want to experience motherhood. My boyfriend at the time, already beginning to dislike me because in part through my therapy sessions and in part because I was simply growing up, I was becoming less and less a silly little doormat, informed me that he absolutely did not want children, especially with me, “because I don’t want them to be crazy like you,” (this from a young fellow whose eyes were wide with paranoia enhanced by frequent drug use, the guy who accused me from the start of a drawn-out relationship during which I believed myself in love, of cheating on him with anyone with whom I spent time, male or female). Within two years of that conversation, I had left the boyfriend and moved to an apartment I really liked. I wasn’t necessarily intent on immediately becoming a mother.
I’ll own to spending much of that early time partying and, at least on weekends, drinking a lot of alcohol. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit that my firstborn was conceived while I was drunk, but to me, the circumstances of her conception don’t in any way change my belief that she was simply meant to be. Yes, I was terrified when two consecutive home pregnancy tests came back with the same response: positive… I was also excited and determined to make the necessary changes to my lifestyle.
That moment is when I became a mother. The moment I knew a life grew inside me and knew the changes I must make for his or her sake, I was Mom, even if it would be a couple of years before a child called me by that name.