When I First Thought Of Motherhood

When I first thought of motherhood I thought of planning. I thought of maternity leave, child care, and car seats that clicked into strollers. I thought of appointments for scans, tests or no tests, and waiting for results. I thought of not drinking, while I drank a glass of wine and dreamt of soft cheese.

When I  first thought of motherhood I thought of round chubby cheeks and little tiny toes. I thought of genetics. Whose lips? Whose nose? What colour hair? I thought of names, of future careers. Could Daisy lead the United Nations? Elizabeth could, Elizabeth could lead the United Nations.

When I first thought of motherhood I didn’t think about motherhood at all. I didn’t think about being a coach, a teacher, a disciplinarian, and a comic in one car ride.

I didn’t think about children who wanted to blend, to never be seen in fear of being the butt of the joke. I didn’t think about holding hands until the very last minute. Off you go, you can do it, I know you can.

I didn’t think about angst that was shared. How did it go today? I didn’t think about fears that were passed on. I never liked that as well. I didn’t think about hopes being shattered. They didn’t pick me. And dreams that would fill my heart with pride. One day Mum, one day I’m going to do that.

I didn’t think about crazy hair day, about wondering if this was the year he’d pluck up the courage to walk into school looking “different”. Whether he’d ever get past being worried about someone laughing, looking, commenting. I didn’t think about watching his smile as he looked at his hair in the morning, “make it spikier, make it stick straight up” his eyes widening with his grin.

I didn’t think about watching him lose his nerve from my rear view mirror, about recognizing the panic, about watching him change his mind. “I’m not going in, I can’t go in. Take me home”.

I didn’t think about driving around the block, about choosing every word with caution. The coach, the teacher, the disciplinarian, the comic.

“I’ll walk with you, I’ll hold your hand, all the way to the gate.”

“But just to the gate Mum.”

I didn’t think about my tears at the traffic lights as I thought of his face, of him seeing a friend, his smile.

When I first thought of motherhood, I didn’t think about it at all.

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