My boss is very pregnant with her first child. Very pregnant. Like so pregnant that you can’t help but wonder everytime she’s a little late for work if this is “the day”. She walks around looking absolutely stunning and self-assured…nothing like how I looked when I was pregnant. She and I are almost the same age. I say almost because she’s a little younger than me, but I figure, I can use the the age curve. While my boss gets ready to give birth to her first child, and my first child just turned 19, I can’t help but wonder…is she ready for what’s coming?
I think back to those years almost two decades ago of being weeks away from becoming a mom and thinking quaint things like, “One day at a time”, or “I can do this.” or “I was born to be a mom”. or some other self help book crap like that. I had no idea what was coming. None.
It’s funny because my mom could give me advice about parenthood, and millions of people before me have raised children, but the truth is, no one knew what was coming for me. No one had to give birth and raise MY children. It’s not that my kids are extraordinarily difficult or problematic, it’s just that they are original and no one could really prepare me for motherhood of Rebecca and Shannon.
I wonder now, what it would be like if I were pregnant today. There would be no quaint pep talks, no self help virtues, and no magic eight ball questions about what life would look like. There would however be worry, concern, and fear, because…let’s face it…it’s hard.
I’m a single divorced mom. (More things I never predicted) Today I can’t help but be jealous of the ignorance. Jealous of the lack of experience to know what may be out there. When I was 18 and started dating my ex-husband, there was no fear about the future. There were no concerns about the work it would take or how things would look in decades. There was just ignorant, hope filled falling headfirst into a relationship. Today relationships look so very different. Every one must be put through the microscope of knowing what’s coming.
In the same way that no one could really prepare me to raise Rebecca and Shannon, no one can ever prepare me for a relationship with a specific person. Each one looks a little different, each one requires something unique. The parameters of relationships all include, hard work, grace filled moments, love, and frankly patience and tenacity, but each one is an unknown. It’s so hard to not know. It’s so hard to breathe in the uncertainty. It’s so hard to know I was so confidant decades ago and yet today…I know too much.
But I want the companionship, I crave the intimacy, and I acknowledge that maybe just maybe knowing a little can soothe the bumps on the road ahead. No one knows what’s coming but here I am, and I choose to want to try again. I choose to want to spend my life with someone. I choose to work hard and give forgiveness and to possibly look like a foolish crazy person. I choose to want it.
While I don’t have great advice for my boss, I do know one thing. Her parenthood journey won’t look like mine, but it’s going to be hard. My relationships will never look like my marriage did, but they are going to be hard. Different, but hard. I know that I will have to work harder, to pray louder, and to accept that my history does not determine my destiny. Today, I pray that God can continue to work in my life and allow my fear to be extinguished through grace.