Mothers & Daughters & Sons & Fathers
Below is the beginning of a collection of essays on PARENTING.
We'll start with mothers since Mothers Day is coming up soon. I'm a mother so I'll start the process. Please send me your essays to firstname.lastname@example.org. We have a lot to share. Thank you
The Mother of All Journeys
By Vesta Copestakes
Mothers Day is just around the corner. In our family we celebrate Mothers Day and Fathers Day with the one parent who has held both roles. My Dad was my Mom&Dad, I was my daughter’s Mom&Dad. So few families can boast the dream we all share: Mom, Dad & the Kids. When we meet a couple who have been together through the whole journey, we marvel. Some take that entire trip in joy…others with a profound sense of responsibility without the joy.
As a child who grew up without my mother, I held that dream family in my heart like some great prize I could not have. Like so many hurts, this one turned to anger that ate at my heart for years. Why can’t I have a family?
I didn’t realize that this unattainable dream was shaping my decisions, the path I was taking, the relationships I pursued, until someone defined my anger. “You’re angry because you didn’t have a family!” It struck me hard the way irrefutable truth tends to. But it also set me free from that anger. There’s nothing I can do about the past.
My anger defined did not make me stop pursuing the dream, however. I let go of the dream I could not have and set out to achieve the one I could do something about. I was on a mission. I left the man I had shared life with for more than a decade in pursuit of a man who wanted children. I was in my early thirties and running out of time.
It wasn’t long before I met the perfect candidate…intelligent, creative, responsible and eager to do the whole marriage, kids, dog, station wagon, home, etc.…all the key words that grabbed me and drew me in. We moved in together, talked of marriage and the big symbol that this dream was imminent – we bought an extra large washer and dryer to get ready for massive loads of kid laundry. So close.
Then I got pregnant. We were both 35. JUST in time.
BUT…he was not really ready. We both had high-pressure businesses. We were both moving up our individual ladders in parallel professions…employees…responsibilities…goals on the horizon of achievement. While hormones flushed my mother instincts, fear ran through his veins. He offered an ultimatum…abort the fetus or he would leave. I was 35. He left.
And so began my life as a single mother. Although I was devastated at the time, I look back and see that this was a blessing. I never had to fight over parenting techniques, philosophies, or paths of instruction. But I also didn’t let go of the dream. I pursued finding my daughter a father even if she couldn’t have the one whose genes she shared. That was a mistake. One that I regret to this day.
I wish I could go back and see that we were a family with just the two of us…our dog and cats. We shared a home, shared life and shared a special bond. By pursuing a father for my daughter I cut holes in the bond that hurt her instead of solved what I saw as a problem.
Motherhood is a journey without a destination. Not one of us can look back and feel confident we did everything right, and did not scar our children. That’s a truth that offers little comfort. But I clearly remember the day when I was sitting across the kitchen table from my father and talking about his role and his mistakes. I now had compassion because I, too, was making similar mistakes and I understood.
I hope some day my daughter will see my errors in parenting through the tears of compassion like I saw my Dad’s. That conversation set my heart to rest. I can only hope to do the same with my daughter…some day.
I love you Beautiful Daughter like no other love…Mother Love. You’re a mother now, so I know you know what I mean.
By Bug Deakin
On the 19th day of this month I was blessed with an opportunity I have waited 40 years for, and I thank her mother for doing such an amazing job. I waited 14,633 days to be able to hug my daughter. I have known about Suzy since her inception, she on the other hand, did not know about me. After the man who provided for her childhood passed away, (thank you Ben), her mother told her she had a different biological father.
She Googled me and lo and behold, she spent a few days pouring through the website and discovering this other part of her make-up. She writes like me, she uses the same words! We have been corresponding through most mediums for almost two years, and now my shining moment has come to fruition!
The Road Trip of my Life!
I met her at Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho and we have been enveloped in a road trip of illustrious Joy! Road trips are such a delightful way of bonding, and to weave our way through Idaho, and Washington to Fort Hill Sawmill in Oregon. (I had to throw in some dismantling structures to fill the experience) and on to Lincoln City and down the Oregon Coast of “oh what beauty this planet has bathed us left coasters in!”
At Gold Beach Oregon we dragged a king bed in the motel room and piled pillows and shared a spectacular 3-hour sunset. We laughed and cried and discovered each other in each other. We ate hummus and crackers on the bed. “No crackers in bed,” we giggled!
Thursday we drove from Gold Beach through the California coast down Shoreline Hwy to the incomparable Rivers End. A cold draft and seared scallops sent us through Bodega Bay on home to a Petaluma sunset. Bliss, wonder, sharing story, every moment a first in a cavalcade of heart brimming exuberance and Joy.
So then Friday it was take your kid to work day. Suzy spent the day at the yard and she washed my car at the end of the day so I took her shopping. And every one of these memorable moments were firsts for both of us!
And to finish the first part of this Blissful experience before the news deadline, I threw her a parade in Petaluma, and I put a giant purple chair on the deck of the flatbed and parked it on the parade route just for her! It was so big we shared it with Petaluma!
Every Time I look at Her I see her Mother.
I am so grateful, so filled with boundless joy, so finally completed! I am in awe of this wondrous life embracing respectful child of this universe.
I thank her mother Candacé from the top of my heart. I have two grandsons, Hayden and Mason!
And here is the love of my life. The bringer of unbridled Joy!