I wanted to write about something my son did the other night. He’s two. His dad just finished reading to him. He got up, walked over to me lying on the floor and joined me. I took his gesture as love. And I almost cried.
All this feelings stuff is an unexpected, inconvenient shock to me. I didn't anticipate this, because being a mother to someone wasn't part of my plan.
No, don't go where I know your mind is taking you.
I didn't plan this because I loved my selfish, travel-anywhere, live-anywhere, work-anytime-all-the-time life.
So I approached motherhood the same way I approach half of my life: by asking others how they do it. I interviewed people. I don't know if they knew it at the time.
I live the other half of my life on gut. It was kind of like moving to this country. I somehow always "knew" it would happen. It was like choosing this career nearly 20 years ago. It felt right, I jumped in and it stuck. I said yes to my husband without thinking (long story).
But when it came to having children, I didn't think I was going to be a good mother. I loved my work too much, I loved my life too much. I thought I couldn't do all of it well. I couldn't possibly wing it. Too much was at stake -- like making sure the life of another human didn't suck.
So for about a year, I talked to different career women about being moms. How they did that, how they raised good people and didn't lose who they were -- or maybe how it transformed who they were into who they are today.
I interviewed colleagues during criminal trial breaks, at the Olympics (I sat next to several rock stars). I interviewed powerhouse professionals in town, trying to figure out how they -- you guessed it -- did it all.
I did a lot trying to convince myself of something. I don't know which way I was trying to go.
I gave myself a whole speech about how having a kid is a selfish position. I told myself “better people adopt or foster children.”
I wanted to have a baby for the right reasons" and then not be bad at it.
What are the right reasons? I still don't know!
Mine were that I wanted to feel that kind of love. I was also getting too old and it was a “if-I don't-try-it-now-I-never-will.”
Having said that, I have close friends who didn’t get to negotiate with themselves or make the choice. Nature has made the heartbreaking decision for them. And reading this ode to my son is probably painful. I’m ever so sorry.
If I could change their journey, I would do that yesterday.
I understand the gift I have been given.
I could not have anticipated how my son would change me.
Everything is better, brighter, stronger, more colorful, more painful, more palpable, more real since he was born.
I've never been more dirty, tired, energized, happy, scared, worried and elated.
I feel too much too often. It’s tough in this job. Better in this job.
I feel like I can't do it all perfectly. In fact, I know I don’t.
And I am trying to learn that it's ok.
Because at the end of the day and for a few more years, I hope we have more moments like this. Where he's showing me whatever he's showing me -- and I'm going to take it as love.