Once upon a time I didn’t have children. I fondly refer to that part of my adult life as the BK years. You know, before kids.
Back then, I didn’t have dark circles under my eyes. Or gray hair. Or C-Section scars. I didn’t drive a station wagon, my first minivan or my second minivan.
I was friends with Winnie the Pooh, but the BK me had never made the acquaintance of Dora and Boots, Charlie and Lola, iCarly and the gang from Hi-5.
During the early days of transition from BK to motherhood – really, the ink had barely dried on the EPT – I bought my first maternity top.
I remember whining to my OB (he laughed) that I didn’t look pregnant enough. Nine years later, I’m still trying to figure out what to do about the stretch marks.
And somewhere in the fog of lost sleep and 3 a.m. feedings and strained peas and diaper changes, one baby became two and both have since transformed into little ladies who dance and otherwise keep me on my toes.
I still lose sleep from time to time. More than once I’ve been yakked on. My answer to many questions has been “because I told you so.” I developed super hearing and eyes in the back of my head. I have become the chauffeur my mother was. I am … my mother.
Which reminds me, for everything Mary B. Ratcliffe is to me, Happy Mother’s Day.
She was a BK once. She married my father when he was a widower with four children, the youngest in diapers. Heaven sent her to us after my other sweet mother, Mimi, moved there when I was 8 years old. Mama legally adopted us, and don’t you dare call her a stepmother.
She taught me how to drive a stick shift. Because of Mama, I can clean, cut and cook a chicken (and make a brown gravy to boot). She taught me to appreciate liver and onions. And coconut pie. And sour cream. (But not mayonnaise, no matter how hard she tried.)
Mama is my angel, and I’m sorry I don’t tell her that enough. But I do try to be like her with her grandbabies. I love them unconditionally, just as she loves me. I encourage them, just as she encourages me. I kiss boo boos and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I take them to church, drive them to dance, give medicine for sore throats and tummy aches, check homework and iron clothes.
I don’t do it for the thanks. It’s my job. It’s my privilege. It’s my blessing. I know it’s that way for Mama, too. I know she had second thoughts before marrying Daddy and taking on another woman’s children. I thank God she didn’t give up on us.
And like her, every now and again I miss the BK me. But I wouldn’t change my status as a mother for anything in the world.
Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEMS Daily Journal