A little about myself and what led me here.
I was the epitome of a girly girl growing up and my favorite toy was, shocker: baby dolls. I begged my mom for the “realistic” baby dolls, you know, the ones that actually peed and pooped. (Why that was intriguing as a child, I do not know) I would take great care in choosing their names, taking days to decide on one, because come on- this was my child! I of course looked forward to my wedding day, but more so than that I dreamt of the day I would become a mother. Not having children was a foreign thought to me. I think partly because I had such a strong Mother figure in my life. My mom was such a … well, mom. She had a rather rocky childhood herself and was raised by her father and grandmother as well as spent some of her childhood in foster care. Her mother was never really present and passed away in a fire when she was 16 years old. The speculation was that she was under the influence of some substance and fell asleep with a lit cigarette.
Despite never having a strong mother figure in her own life, she embodied what it meant to nurture. Being a mother was her whole existence, and continues to be even though her children have flown the coop. Children gravitate towards her wherever she is. She is in every sense warm and compassionate. She has told me many times that her life did not begin until I entered this world. I personally think I was her first secure family. She had children young, unmarried, and unplanned… but with the love of her life.
Me and My Mother 1986
My mother has always loved me so deeply and fiercely, a love that I would not understand until my own child entered this world. I was her first born out of three. She and I were a team, and at times only had each other. We will be forever intertwined beyond the dimensions of this universe.
Me and My daughter 2015
I was always a bright child, too bright in fact. I was placed into the gifted program early on and my mother struggled to keep me mentally stimulated and entertained. I feel as though when you are bright, you are also hyper-emotional; in tune with all of your feelings to a fault. I always had a certain sadness to me, and boredom was my kryptonite. This character flaw has followed me into adulthood. I continue to over-analyze, obsess, and have trouble decelerating the engine to my thoughts.
However this trait was beneficial in one aspect of my life. I have always been fascinated by science. Instead of play camps, I would ask to go to the library “science camps” or for chemistry sets for Christmas. I wasn’t one to question what I wanted to do when I “grew up”… I always knew where my passion lay. It was no surprise that I went to college for biology. I definitely have an affinity for all things “scientific”, but my real interest was in the human body and human behavior, and ecology. I was fascinated by Darwin’s theories and the like, I still am. I didn’t know that motherhood would somehow connect this loop to science for me, but it did. I am fascinated by pregnancy, labor, childbirth, breastfeeding, mother-baby anthropology, and especially how other cultures and our ancestors raised their young, etc. ,etc., and etc., I could go on. Because, first and foremost: we are all mammals. We are a species. We have survived this long because our ancestors followed their instincts to protect their young to perpetuate the species. This was where the biology connection was for me.
I went to college for biology, joined a sorority, had my crazy wild college days… and then like most new grads, got an apartment with some girlfriends in the “big city” with my first big girl job. I met my now husband when I was 23. Caring, kind, and in love with me. So different than the aloof frat boys I had always chosen before. We are in every sense opposites, but together a perfect compliment. I like I said, always knew I wanted to be a mother… and I knew I wanted to be a young mother. The desire to have children only grew as the years went on. I was in no fact “ready” for children at 23, 24, or even 25. But at 25, I knew the urge to start the chain reaction to children was not going away. We were married a year later. The baby came later than I had hoped but I view Motherhood as the greatest love story of my life. This is a place I can channel and celebrate some of the profound moments and feelings that come with the this beautiful gift and honor.