Monday, December 3, 2012

Becoming a Mother

This week we celebrate our eldest son's tenth birthday. Hard to believe that ten years ago I became a mom, though really it started nine months before his birth, when I had to change my life to take care of the little alien living inside of me. I was suddenly nauseous and vomiting all day long until finally I was given some medicine to keep me from becoming dehydrated. So thankful for really good insurance and the scientists that created Zofran. At the same time I was giving up caffeine and my daily trip to Starbucks because that was what pregnant women did back then before the rules changed.

To top it all off, my husband was offered an amazing overseas assignment which we jumped at, mostly because the offer actually came before we knew we were pregnant and had already said yes. After two years of infertility, we had stopped planning our life around the possibility of pregnancy. And so that summer, the one ten years ago, we moved to Santiago, Chile and I became essentially a stay at home mom even before the baby was born.

My entire identity was now defined by the person growing inside me because honestly it was the first thing you noticed about me. The heft I carried was staggering. And it was all consuming for me. Being pregnant.

I had way too much time on my hands, living in a new country where I did not speak the language. Too much time to research baby products and pour over message boards at Babycenter.

And each new friend I made, through the American Club and Bible study, knew me as a mom to be. They did not know the old me. The professional me. The intelligent woman who could actually think before pregnancy brain set in. They only knew the pregnant me.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED living in Santiago. I had the most amazing time being an expat wife. It was through the American Club that I discovered how funny women in their 40s could be. Irreverent and comfortable in their skin. Having lived enough life and gained enough perspective to not take things too seriously and see the joy and humor in life. It was through the English speaking church that I found the unity of God's family. People from various denominations coming together to worship, serving wine and grape juice at communion, leaving denominational differences out of Bible study and focusing instead on the love of Jesus that unites us. Chile is where I fell in love with women's Bible study.

Hard to believe it was October ten years ago, that I had to say goodbye after only a short time together, when my husband's team was transferred home. Even harder to believe is that my eldest, my Hockey Boy, my darling boy was born ten years ago this week.

I could gush for days about what an amazing kid he is because he truly is. He taught me to love, to guide, to be comfortable with the word penis, and even to lie. He made me into a mom. And though there are days when I have considered giving one or all of them back, I love being a mom.

Not just a mom, but their mom because they are the reason I am the mom that I am. 

Happy 10th Birthday Hockey Boy!

What have your kids taught you? How have they shaped you as a parent?

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