The last couple years, I've been part of a project called A Mother's Story, initiated by a local actress. She was asking other actresses to write the stories of their mums, living or deceased. It came at a really good time for me, as I was growing into the role of guardian for my mum. And as I wrote the story, I realized that there was a lot about her that I didn't know. We never really talked about her personal history. My mum was of the West Indian ilk who instructed and complained to her children. We didn't really have a "friendship". She was the parent, I was the child, the end.
So I concentrated on how our relationship is at present. Another actress suggested we "collage" our stories and that turned in to a staged reading with about 25 of us, reading parts of our collectives stories. Then this spring,we put on A Mother's Story at a stage downtown for Mother's Day. We served tea and cakes before the show to everyone. The show was sold out 3 weeks before we did it. Then another performance this fall at a Unity church as a fundraiser. It's always emotional, funny, touching and serves as a reminder for us all that motherhood is extremely powerful. My mum has been in the audience on two occasions. I can't look at her though or I lose it. She told me she's proud of me.
After the show, I usually get asked by an audience member if I have children. I always smile and say no, and change the subject. Strangely enough, I never get questioned as to why I don't. Maybe it's the look in my eye or something, I don't know.
Next spring, I may answer yes to that question. Sometimes, in the midst of all the concern about money, social worker visits, books to read and courses to take, I forget that I will be a mother one day. I've never really felt like a mother to be, my lovely dog not withstanding. The closest I've ever come to that was I was swollen up like a beach ball after egg retrieval.
What if a birth mother chooses us and we find out it's a boy? I kinda want a girl. We both do actually. What do I do? Say, "No thanks" like someone is offering me a stick of gum? What's the etiquette for this? I have no idea.
What if I can't produce enough breastmilk? Oh, don't even get me started on adoptive breastfeeding. I went to a site that had so much friggin' hardware to go along with it, I freaked out! And you don't want to know what my hubby thinks of it. I told him my boobies were going south whether he liked it or not. I think he's terrified because he's seen my mother naked (not intentionally of course, but sometimes dementia patients don't feel like wearing clothes, heh, heh).
What if I don't know how to make it stop crying during teething? I don't think they approve of brandy on the pacifier like my mum did. I don't think my mum can help me out anymore.
I don't know what's in the baby aisle in the drugstore. I've always avoided it. Unless I need Q-tips.
Jeepers, I've got a lot to learn. That means I'm going to have to go in a baby store and actually look around. I'm kinda freaking out about that, too.
I wonder what story my little kid will tell about me? Or the birth mother? Oh, man.