The Year In Mothering (And Daughtering)
As another Mother’s Day comes to an end, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on this last year as a both a mother. In speaking of mothering, I don’t just mean parenting The Child, I also mean it to encompass what I’ve given birth to and nourished over the last 12 months. But before I continue, my mother’s birthday happened to fall on Mother’s Day this year. Happy, ahem, 39th birthday mom!
This past year has been a doozy, to say the least. I gave birth to a film and a non-profit, but most importantly, I began my own re-birth of sorts. I finally made the decision that my happiness in this world is what is of utmost importance. No, this doesn’t mean that I’m living in denial or walking around with my heads in the clouds — I continue to take care of business. What it means is that I’m happy regardless of the curveballs life throws and I make decisions to increase and reinforce my happiness.
The biggest and most terrifying decision was deciding that being married to the person I thought I was going to be with forever was a no go. This doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person or did terrible things. In fact, he’s a great person and a really good father, but just because two people are great folks, doesn’t mean that they should be married. I had to follow my heart, and in doing so I am being true to myself. In fact, we’re better friends now and awesome co-parents.
I also made a really big decision regarding The Child. I decided to homeschool, or better yet, found the Awesome Fabulous Academy. The idea had been swirling around in my head ever since she completed preschool, which was an amazing experience. I don’t talk about it much, but at around 9 months, The Child was diagnosed with a mild case of Hemiplegia in her right brain, which has resulted in motor-difficulty on her left side, as well as speech issues. Since the diagnosis, she’s been getting therapy and if anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook knows, leads a joyously happy life.
Homeschooling has been awesome, difficult, but awesome. The Child has made a lot of academic progress and the bond between us, though already tight, has become an impenetrable fortress — nothing in, nothing out.
I’m really proud of the growth in the relationship between my mother and I. Yes, she still treats me like her child, but she respects me as a mother and woman. I was able to go to her when thinking about major decisions without the adolescent fear of judgment which I held onto for so long. In fact, when I told her I was going to homeschool, she said:
I think it’s great that you are doing this. You know what’s best for The Child and I have faith in you. Maybe I should have homeschooled you. Nah, if I had, you probably would have grown up to be an assassin.
If that’s not the most fabulous cosign, I don’t know what is.
But the thing I am most proud of is surviving the aftermath of Labor Day 2010. With The Child’s diagnosis came the warning that she might develop seizures. We were told, however, that if she didn’t have one by the age of 6, then we were free and clear. Wouldn’t you know that at almost 6 and a half, The Child has a gran mal seizure, and it occurred at 5am on September 6th.
No one with any type of compassion ever wants to see a child go through anything, and when it’s your child, you’d rather take their place. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I say a silent thanks to the folks in the pediatric emergency and ICU of SUNY Downstate every single day. The Child was on the ICU for 4 days, was intubated, had CAT scans, ECG’s and had to get her sea legs back before we left the hospital. Her father and I didn’t sleep the entire time and in fact, I didn’t leave the hospital until she was discharged. In fact, we loved Downstate so much that we changed her neurologist to the practice there. Again, thank all that is great for Downstate and for health insurance.
I can honestly look back to a year ago and know that I am in a much better place than I was then — emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually — and this makes for a better home life, work life and relationships. Each day I grow more into myself and know — not believe — I know that the best is yet to come. I am honored and proud to be The Child’s Mama and my mama’s child.