I not talking about what is known as second chance adoptions as sad as that reality is. I’m talking about the second chance life gave me and I hope those who have suffered their own failures at parenting will take heart.
This Sunday, we will go out into the forest among the Wild Azaleas and make a photo of myself with the two boys I am lucky to have in my own life. We have done this every year without fail since the older boy was born. You see, when I was young, I gave birth to a daughter who was and remains very dear to me. Yet, I struggled to support us and in doing so, inadvertently lost the opportunity to parent her and have her in my life during her childhood. I remember as the years went by looking for birthday cards for “my daughter” and that causing despair because they did not describe the unique kind of relationship I had with her. Thankfully, we are close and I am grateful for that much.
When I remarried late in life and after 10 years of being with my husband who never wanted to have children – he changed his mind. Over Margaritas at a Mexican restaurant he announced to me that he actually did want to become a father and it wasn’t easy for us because I was too old to conceive without medical assistance. To conceive, I had to accept the loss of my genetic connection to my sons. They would not exist any other way and they would not be who they are otherwise.
Yet, they grew in my womb and nursed at my breast. I have been in their lives 24/7 with a few minor exceptions. Parenting boys has been challenging because I grew up the oldest of three girls. I was unprepared for the boisterous behavior of male children and through it was far from perfect – they and I survived it. I was told as I struggled in their younger time that boys are more difficult when young and girls more difficult in puberty. I don’t know if that is true but the boys are a joy and easy to live with now. Whatever has caused that blessing, I am grateful.
I am also grateful to know I can actually parent. It is a life-long sorrow that I lost that time with my daughter. Children don’t stop growing and you can’t recover what is lost in your absence. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.