Thursday, December 6, 2012
And so, here we are at the ending hours of Chance's 22 birthday celebration. Twenty two years since I held a newborn all my own. That long since I carried a baby in my womb. I had a baby every three years from 1978 to 1990. It was a major part of my life and my identity. Nursing all those babies was my occupation, my vocation, my calling. Gestating and lactating. The hardest and most wonderful things all tied together.
I am really happy that I am able to do as much as I do in order to help other women attain some peace and pleasure out of mothering their babies. It's what I do and who I am. It is in every cell of my body.
I am a mother and a mentor. In a way, because I am about the age of most of the mothers of the new moms I help, I feel that I am a mother figure for them.
Even before I had my children I felt a calling to be a mother. Who knew what was actually going to happen. I had no idea who's mother I would be. I got pretty lucky with my lot. They are all unique and wonderful and smart and amazing. When they were little I was often overwhelmed and tired and angry. I yelled and swatted more that I wish I had done. I am sorry. I have apologized to all five of them and for the most part I feel forgiven. I am not trying to make excuses, just recognizing that I wish I had been better at mothering- the thing I value most I think.
Five adults on this earth grew in my body and fed from my body and have grown strong and healthy and smart and independent. I love them with such depth there is no way to say it with any of the words I know.
Sometimes, often in fact, I think I am losing my ability to recall things. Especially people's names. But often, conversations too. I am not totally worried about it yet. I know that it can be slightly irritating to my kids. But I don't think it is just for not paying attention or not caring. I think that there are some real deficits.
My maternal grandmother didn't know who she or anyone else was for much of the last 20 years of her life. By the time any of my kids met her she could only speak gibberish. I wish they could have known her in the way I did.
My own mother had a sharp tongue and no filters, so she often hurt people's feelings without even knowing it. But, she never lost her ability to speak and understand. She could hear anything from anywhere in the house. The last few years she took anti anxiety medication which helped take the bite out of her bark and even made her stop barking so much. She was actually pleasant and fun to be with.
My dad had dementia. Of course, he was always strange, so I have to wonder how far gone he was before he was diagnosed.
I don't really mind that I cannot remember stuff. As long as I don't do anything dangerous- like get on the Beltway going the wrong way. I hope that my children and Nick will be patient with me and kind and understanding.
And now it is early December. It's Friday in the early AM. Saturday I am going to an all day conference that I have to leave for at 6:30AM!
Sunday we are having a Christmas party for about 25 guests. I am looking forward to it. I am maybe a little bit stressed, but in a good way. I love being around people and having good company.
And now, I must go to bed.