I always knew who I would be when I grew up.
Apart from the occasional daydream of being famous like one of the cast of the Brady Bunch or a stewardess, there were few distractions to my plan.
No one ever told me who to be or what to do with my life.
My expectations were not low.
My self esteem was fairly high considering I hit puberty and became a chunky girl with coke bottle bottom glasses.
My parents always applauded my intelligence and gave me every opportunity to be what I wanted to be.
As far as society's views, I was happily ignorant to the what was going on around me, often times not even stopping to understand any current events.
I was an avid reader consuming 4 or 5 books a week, sometimes staying up until 2 or 3 am to finish a book. Although some of the books were the domestic Little House on the Prairie, there was also Nancy Drew, Girl Detective and a smattering of grown up books from my parents book shelves far beyond what the other kids my age were reading. Catch 22, Helter Skelter, I Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee and The Good Earth and anything Stephen King was scribbling down on paper.
My parents did not pressure me or try to influence me.
My religion (what little I absorbed in my attention distracted mind) did not make me feel pressured.
I knew who I was.
I knew who I was to become.
I wanted to be a mother.
I know....many women want to be a mother. Heck, every single person who has lived or lives on this planet has a mother in one form or another.
Hard to explain but I feel it was different for me. I didn't just want to have a family and hold the title of mother as I pursued my life.
I wanted motherhood to be my life.
Even as I type this I know there are people who are shaking their heads or clicking their tongues either wondering why I would think that is special in any way, or on the contrary, why I would not want more.
I am not scared of judgement.
When I held my firstborn in my arms I knew the road that I was on was the right one.
Lest you think that I am a sappy mother with rose colored glasses let me say that the first few years of motherhood were.......
well in a word.
I did not expect the position or job description of motherhood to feel like a heavy yoke upon my neck.
But it was.
I did not spend my days giddy with happiness at the opportunities that lay before me.
Often times I cried because I knew there was no turning back. This was to be my life.
This was who and what I was.
Time and practice gave me new perspective.
More babies let me know that I was not responsible for every action of my children but also not responsible for every achievement.
What I will say is that now that my youngest is turning 21, the legal age of an adult.....
is I gave it everything that I had.
I left it all on the field of motherhood.
For better and for worse...
I was all in.
I would like to be able to say now,
"And she basked in retirement and the glory of her now raised children, and lived happily ever after."
I am still...all in.
And I don't see that ending just because they are not physically and emotionally clinging to me.
I am a mother.
But I now face the reality and societal pressure of what else am I.
And that is the question de jour.
I am trying to weave through the minefield of discovery and have my good days and my bad.
Lately I mostly feel like a multi meal.
Never heard of a multi meal you say?
Pray for me.