When I was a little girl I didn’t imagine myself being a mother. I didn’t care to play with dolls. I didn’t want to babysit. And I didn’t have little cousins or younger siblings. That just wasn’t my experience.
As I got older, I didn’t give much consideration to having kids. I just knew it wasn’t something I envisioned. Throughout my twenties I recall confidently declaring to my friends that I would not be having kids.
Here’s the thing. I do have kids. And anyone who knows me now knows how I feel about them. I am in love with them.
I imagine it can be awkward with some people to talk about how my kids came to be because I didn’t plan them. But I wanted them and I still do. Some people might use the word accident to describe how my children were conceived, but that’s just not true. I knew what I was doing when they were conceived. It was intentional. By the age of 30 I realized that I really did want to have kids. Someday. I didn’t plan to have them right away. That’s what happened anyway. I knew I wanted these kids. They are cherished.
Sometimes I wonder at how I seemed to build myself to be the person I am. How is it that I am so uniquely qualified to be their mother? I realize this is also not true. I do not possess many of the qualities that kids need. Yes my chosen career path really overlaps with my motherhood in some big ways, but I am also keenly aware of my parenting deficiencies. Why can’t I just be better at some things? Because I’m not. This is who my kids got. I’m just their mother. And I am trying to improve myself all the time.
What I do know is that I love my kids so much that I can see all of their beauty. That has expanded my world in ways it never could have been otherwise. I imagine that some people might only see my life as a parent as hard. And it is hard. And I am grateful. Seventeen years ago when I became a mother my life finally became directed. Before that I had my feet on the ground and I was running, but with nothing I was working toward. They inspire me. They are who I dedicate myself to. They are my purpose.
J. Warren Welch really puts it into words perfectly. “Your children are not your masterpiece that you create. They are their own masterpiece, creating themselves, and you have been given the privilege of watching them be the artist.”
I love watching my kids create themselves. That’s why I wanted them. They are incredible. What an amazing human experience.