Mo’ Baby Blues

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My home has been full of children for almost my entire life. My brother was already there when I was born and I’m the oldest of four girls. I’ve had a baby hanging off my hip since the birth of my sister Kelly when I was six years old. I was nurturing. I was vigilant. I was…bossy. Somebody had to keep those little people in line. From a very early age, I was that somebody; helping to ensure that we had well-fed, clean, happy, and safe babies. Before I even became a mother, I knew how special a task taking care of little people was. How we treat children influences the way they shape the future. I was happily part of “the village,” for friends and family alike. It was never a question of “if” I would have kids, but when. When my time came, conceiving was not an issue, but my first trimester proved challenging for both pregnancies, leaving me on prolonged bed rest. But they made it!

And now these guys

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Have grown into these guys

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I love being a mother and the beauty and terror that comes with it all. It’s a magical thing to carry life. “Life” becomes a person, who you watch grow and seek out his or her own purpose. My “babies” are 15 and 17 (almost 18), and much of my portion of shaping them is done. Motherly words have morphed from instructions to suggestions. They’re each on the cusp of learning what their true purpose is and that journey is their own. This has me rethinking my part of the village. My house without children? While I haven’t taken the idea of having another baby off the table, there’s a world of difference between a pregnancy at 24 and a pregnancy at 40.

I love babies. I miss being around babies. I’ll likely have grandkids (no time soon, I hope), but what about before then? Will my home be filled with little humans once again? And if yes, how so? I think about being a stepmom since most potential partners in my age group have children. While my road with my stepmom wasn’t the smoothest and we weren’t babies, I value her as a part of my family and as an advisor. What about the kids who don’t have parents or whose parents are in transition? Adoption or being a foster parent are also on this list of very viable alternatives. Being a foster-mother holds a special appeal. I would love to help parents in transition, allowing them a chance to regroup while providing their children with loving support in the interim.  I don’t think any of these rank higher than the other. Taking care of children is monumental privilege, and I weigh each alternative with equal gravity.

I don’t have the answers yet, and i don’t need them. After decades of the urgency required to look after children, I’ll to take my time deciding how to approach life with adult children. Perhaps taking it easy is the point of this new chapter in my life. Just do me a favor until I decide: keep me away from little chubby baby feet. I’m only human.

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