Holy...shit - B and I watched the documentary Dear Zachary two nights ago and I think both of us are still trying to get over it. Seriously. The entire next day I couldn't shake it. I woke up thinking about it. The story was gut wrenching but the way it was told was so genuine and honest and beautiful it made the horrible truth bearable. Anybody would be moved, you'd have to be made of stone not to be, but since a child was involved all we could do was see our Littlest J's face and think of the pain we would feel if we lost him. What that disgusting woman did to her child shook me to my core. It literally made me sick. I sobbed for the loss of the Bagbys, the double loss. Watch it if you want to know more, but dear god trust me when I say prepare to be overcome.
Then,tonight, one of my best friends told me she couldn't have children.
Yes, these two things are related.
Both made me think about motherhood and what it really is, what it means. I've come to the conclusion that it has nothing to do with the actual act of carrying and birthing a child.
I think we are mothers becuase we love our children. Because we care for them and want them to be happy and healthy and successful, because we would lay down our lives for theirs. I don't think we love our children because they have our features or lived in our stomachs(some longer than others)or have our family name. We love them because they are the purest form of life. The most untouched, newly formed people, full of possibility.
I want my friend to know that her inability to have children doesn't mean she can't be a mother. It doesn't make her less of a woman. It doesn't change anything about her.
I know that there is a child somewhere, either already on this earth now or waiting in the wings until she is ready, that is hers, ready for her to come and give it the life it deserves, that only she could give.
Biological or not her child will benefit from her strength, her positivity, her sense of humor, her huge fucking brain that knows about religions and psychology and poets and books and TV, dear god the never ending knowledge about the television, not the box itself, but what plays on it - our other best friend as we like to call it. The child will roll its eyes at her dramatic renditions of show tunes and laugh at the stories I share about the times we spent together and that damn sock on a hanger.
What that child would know for certain is that it is loved. That it has a mother. An excellent mother who couldn't or wouldn't be any better because she had suffered through morning sickness or had swollen feet for a few months.
I understand her frustration at how unfair it is that she, someone who wants a child and understands how precious it is, can't have one but so many undeserving people spit kids out every day. I used to feel the same way about the pregnant women I would pass in the hospital parking garage on my way to the NICU - big fat cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, completely unaware of how lucky they are that they were blessed with not only a healthy pregnancy, but the ability to become pregnant in the first place. I think as women we always assume we will have the choice to have children should we want them and that it will go off without a hitch. That isn't always the case and it sucks, but it doesn't make us failures, it doesn't make us freaks. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
So to my friend I say take your time to grieve your loss, process the big pile of shit that was handed to you today, then start on the journey to find your child. The one who will call you mom.