It's official. My ex husband has a son. The baby boy is named after his father. Instead of being born on what would have been our nine year wedding anniversary / three year divorce anniversary, he was born on the one year wedding anniversary of his parents.
Or in my world, the night my girlfriends took my out drinking until four o'clock in the morning. Sometimes, a girl needs a Cosmo...and keep 'em coming.
Countless readers have written in to me with wonderful words of support and encouragement. Some of you have offered to take me out for drinks, some of you just tell me to hang in there, and one lovely woman offered me her kids! (I guess they're more than she can handle!) But the most common thing I've been told is that I should "Just Do It" - meaning, have a kid on my own.
I have thought about it, the single mom option. My very good girlfriend is freezing her eggs, seeing as she isn't using them until she meets her dream man anyway. Why waste them in the meantime? But could I really go through with it? Head to a sperm bank? Procreate with a stranger? No, I don't think that's how I'd want to raise a child, always wondering whose baby he or she really was. What the dad was like. If I'd ever run into him at the grocery store.
Instead, I figure that there are so many amazing babies born every day into a world where their parents can't support them, and those children are given up for adoption. I'd much rather love a kid that already exists and needs someone to care for them. In this hypothetical situation, I imagine myself in an orphanage like Annie or Newsies, except with much younger kids, all waiting for a nice lady to bring them home, brush their hair, make them cookies. I imagine all the good parts of parenthood, the tucking in to bed at night, the singing of songs, the trick-or-treating. I know there are harder parts than these, all night fevers, hamsters dying, algebra homework. Somehow, in the end, I'm pretty sure that they all equal out though, and hopefully, when you look that small person in the face, you'll have the overwhelming sense that it's all worthwhile.
I am not saying that I'm going to do the single mom thing right now. Gonna give myself a little more time for that Knight in Shining Armor to show up. But in the meantime, I wrote the earliest stages of this essay.
WHY I WANT TO BE A MOTHER
I was born Kimberly.
My dad calls me Kimmy.
My little brother couldn't say K's when he was little. To this day, my big, tough, military brother calls me Timmy.
In 1988, I insisted my name was Stacey. In 1989, I changed it again to Dawn. My mother stopped letting me read the Babysitters Club.
In summer camp, I earned the nickname Peaches, after both the smell of my shampoo and affinity for Snapple iced tea.
My high school friends still acknowledge me as Kimba, for the cat I was named after.
College brought with it sorority sisters, and my pledge name: Cookie. One smart cookie, one tough cookie.
The pre-school children I teach call me Miss Kimberly.
The Sunday school children I teach call me The StoryTeller.
I have been called daughter, sister, niece, cousin, teacher, mentor, friend. But to this day, no one has ever called me Mommy.