Sunday, May 13, 2018

not his mother...



When I married My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH), I was 24 and he was 34. He was divorced with four sons—12 years down to almost 3. He also was unable to have any more children. If you know what I mean. I was truly okay with that. Being the oldest of four children and growing up in a dysfunctional family (Sometimes the truth is very hurtful to parents/families. But it’s still the truth.), I honestly did not want to have children/be a mother. Or at least I didn’t think I wanted to have a child. The thought actually frightened me. Immensely. So falling in love with MSH? Problem solved.


Then, as I lived my life as MSH’s wife and as a stepmother (I often joked with my stepsons, calling myself “StepMommie Dearest.” If you don’t know why, Google Mommie Dearest. I hope they'd say I was far, far from that Mean Mama. Sheesh.), watching him be the BEST Dad to his sons (despite all of the challenges his divorce caused him, them and me…long story…sigh…), I started to have a mysterious and frustrating desire for a child. Like an OVERWHELMING desire.


MSH felt bad for me. And would say—in the kindest of voices: “You knew I couldn’t have any more kids. You said that was okay!” I’d agree. And cry. I’d cry every time I saw a pregnant person. In person. Or on TV. Every. Time. For some strange reason, I’d see a lot of pregnant women. (You know—like when you’re pregnant? And everyone else on Earth is pregnant, too? But when you’re NOT pregnant—you rarely seeing pregnant peeps. Isn’t that bizarre?)


One afternoon, as he headed home from a meeting in Ft. Worth, he stopped at a home for unwed mothers. Talked to them about the possibility of us adopting a baby. He told me about it at dinner that night. He said he was sorry. They were extremely kind and sympathetic. Unfortunately, because he had four children, that wouldn’t be an option for us. MSH and I did understand this. We’d mentioned adoption a few times—but not in great detail. Of course, I got it. They needed to let couples who had no children adopt a baby. Not us. Not me.


Then I heard about the vasectomy reversal procedure. A very dear friend of mine was married to her second husband and he’d had one. In St. Louis. By the doctor who had pioneered the procedure. It had worked. Heartbreakingly, they were never able to have a child of their own.


MSH got on this doctor’s Waiting List. It was, at least, a year-long wait. Possibly two. In the meantime, another dear friend had a friend whose husband had had the surgery done in Dallas! It had been successful. MSH and I went to see him and…VOILA! TLC was born about eighteen months after MSH’s surgery.


TLC: My only biological child. His fifth and only daughter. The Baby. The Princess. The Joy of Our Lives!


On this Mothers’ Day, I thank our Lord God Almighty for My Sweet Husband. And for TLC—the smartest, funniest, silliest, sometimes most challenging-est and BEAUTIFUL daughter a Mom could ever, ever hope to have.


She’s given me two of the SWEETEST Little Angel Granddaughters on this Earth. She’s also gifted me, in her 34 years (really more like 35—counting my difficult pregnancy with and delivery of Ms. TLC), some good days. REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD days. STELLAR/EPIC GOOD days. Then , naturally, my share of HARD days. Sad days. JOYFUL days. Confusing days. Angry days. She’s worn me out. But then turned around and given me (or demanded of me?) more energy and spunk than I ever dreamed I could muster up—especially now that I’m in my 60s. (Yikes.)


She’s the BEST Mom. I’m amazed—daily—by her talents, creativity, dedication, and determination to be a good Mom. Wife. Daughter. Gluten-Free Chef. The best of all of those roles that she can be.


On a rough day for her? I do my best to encourage her. Give her some of my strength and hope. On my rough days? She does the same for me. Sometimes we each say things the other does NOT want to hear. Sometimes we have to take some “mini” breaks from each other. (Our wisdom can be too annoying for the other of us, I suppose. Winky. Wink.)


Always, ALWAYS…I love, adore, cherish, treasure, NEED My TLC.


Happy HAPPY Mothers’ Day to each of you, Friends Everywhere! Whether you’re a Mom to children. Or pets. Or siblings. Or, possibly, a parent or both parents or a stepparent. I say if you’re a woman, you’re a Mom to someone or some animal or some thing. Period. And you should be CELEBRATED!


Be safe! Be kind! Be THANKFUL.


Hugs and Big Smooches,


ELC


P.S.: When I married MSH, I had to literally teach/train him to be “thoughtful.” I did this by giving him gifts. Cards. Making big deals of holidays—especially his birthday. Christmas. He’s told me one thousand times in 41 years together that he didn’t learn how to be thoughtful and caring until he met me. The truth is this: From the moment I met him, I knew he was one of the kindest people I’d ever met in my life. Very soon I knew: He is MOST DEFINITELY THE Kindest Person I've ever known. Period. End of Story.


BUT—from my first Mothers’ Day as a Mom, he’d say: “Now, I don’t need to get you anything, right? Because you’re not MY Mom, right?” I’d say: “Right. You just make sure TLC remembers me. That’s all I need.”

EVERY Mothers’ Day I rise and say: “You better not have a card or gift for me. Because I’m not your Mom.” We laugh. Sometimes he has a card. Or two. Or three. Sometimes he has a gift. Sometimes TLC has ordered a gift from both of them. (Hey, TLC, let’s get real, okay? He pays for said gifts. Do I care? Nope. I’m proud I helped raise a SMART daughter. Teeheehee.) Today? There were no cards in my closet. But he TOLD me “Happy Mothers’ Day!” the minute I woke up! And I told him he’d bought me three lovely gifts. ((That I purchased for myself.) He smiled. He’s my on-going-daily-every-second-we’re-both-alive gift. PLUS he gave me TLC.

P.P.S.: TLC outdid herself this year with the MOST AWESOME gifts ever from her, Little Leighton and Baby Elle. She is amazing in the Gift-Giving Department. Wow.
 

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