Monday, March 23, 2009

Me?! A Mom?!

(Me and Gerber Baby)

If you would have told me in high school that I'd ever want to be a parent,I probably would have treated you like you had the plague.

If you had told me in my early 20's that I'd consider family life, I'd still have laughed you out of town.

But around 25 years old, it hit. With the help of the man I was with at the time, I began to picture myself being part of a family.

Probably not your typical family though. I have no designs on being a stay-at-home domestic goddess. I have a picture of traveling the world, with a baby on my back and my husband right there with me. I can't blame this "unconventional" family ideal on my upbringing. We did a little globe trotting, but not the degree I hope to in the future.

My family has been fairly conventional, aside from not being biologically related to any of the people I grew up with. They are still "Mom" and "Dad" and "Brother" and always will be, despite what DNA may say. I find that as I grow older, I find myself facinated by that "new family" smell that many of my friends are living in. It's a completely alien concept to me, but a beautiful, wonderous one none the less.

Saturday, I got reminded that "Hey, I can do this," as I spent some time with Gerber Baby. (If you've read my blog long enough, you'll realize that I prefer nicknames for blogspot. You all know who you are.) While his parents got a short break from Gerber baby, I watched him for a while.

That said - I am a LONG time out of baby sitting anyone I couldn't reason with. So this was a new challenge.Thankfully, Gerber Baby is probably the easiest kid on the face of the planet. At first, I was tenative, but after sharing a ride on Winnie the Pooh's ride and riding "topside" (that's where he is sitting on my shoulders, for those that don't speak Munderloh) for a while, I realized, "Hey, this is actually pretty fun." Maybe because it gave me an excuse to be a kid again myself. Maybe this is a little tiny taste of the fulfilling feeling parents get as they play with their kids and teach them things?

Granted, parenting is a very different bag from simply babysitting for a few hours. But I guess it helped build my confidence. There is no real manual to parenting. Kids don't come with an instruction manual. I think adoptive parents have a particular challenge because we adoptees are DEFINATELY our own people. We don't resemble the people who come to love us as "Mom" and "Dad", but we are definatley driven to be our own people.

The affirmation that no young child will perish under my watch felt great. But one step further, I may have something to offer the next generation, amazed me. It's easy to feel like I'm sitting on the other side of the world from experiencing all that for myself; I mean, the closet I have to that kind of bond is, well, me and my dog (which is COMPLETELY different, but he's the only dependent, somewhat trainable life form depending on me). Afterall, I'm divorced (and not willing to have a child out of wedlock - just a personal decision) and there is no ring on my finger. I am a family of one. And right now, that's okay. It's as it's supposed to be.

Anyway, it was a great experience. It always feels great to have a part of the heart dusted off and awakened.

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