Some days of the year are easier to emotionally maneuver than others. Today, Mother’s Day, is not one such day. As a childless woman, my life choices have brought me to a place of emotional unrest or dis-ease.
You see, as a young girl I planned to get married and have kids. Like most young girls, that is what we had been indoctrinated to believe was one of our rites of passage. In my youth I planned out the number of children I would birth and even had names for each of them (that ridiculous list still resurfaces every so often). However, as I grew older, the life that I had envisioned didn’t quite unfold as I had planned it out. I have since learned that our plans (mine especially) rarely unfold as we wish.
If someone had told me that I would be unmarried and childless at forty, I would have argued the impossibility of that situation. Yet, here I am at forty—not once giving birth to a child, nor knowing the joys and pains of motherhood. This is certainly not the future I had envisioned. Nevertheless, it is the life I am currently living.
Please know that I am not faultless. On two occasions I had the opportunity to grow a mother’s heart, but made the choice to terminate each pregnancy. I have long carried feelings of guilt and remorse. I have long wondered what kind of woman, and mother, I would be had I made a different choice in at least one of those situations. But alas, we cannot go back in time; we cannot take bake the choices that we have made. Presently, I can only move forward and hope that I can make some positive impact before I take my last breath on this earth.
If the following text from one of my current students is any indication of my path to making a difference, then maybe there is hope for me yet.
“Happy Mother’s Day (Even though you don’t have kids) But thanks for being one to me, I wouldn’t be the young lady i am today if it wasn’t for you. Thank you so much I love you lots!”
Given my life choices, I am deeply moved by my student’s words. I dare say that I am any type of role model—except perhaps a role model for what not to do. At any rate, today has reminded me that the choices we make have life-long impressions. I will not deny that I sometimes yearn to know what it truly means to be a parent—to express a pure love without condition. But at forty, I feel as if that chapter of my life has now passed its expiration date. Perhaps the role of mother was never written in the stars for me. Maybe I was only to play a proxy role of mother as a classroom teacher.
Despite my life choices, I still stand firm that a woman’s choice remains hers and should not be taken away. However, I would tell any woman who is contemplating that choice to be advised that you will have to bear the burden of your choices for the rest of your life—so choose cautiously.
In closing, I want to thank my parents (most especially my mother) for giving me life. My childhood, perfectly imperfect as it was, is not without appreciation. I am grateful to know the unconditional love of my parents. Perhaps one day I can extend that some unconditional love to others.
Happy Mother’s Day to all!