Wednesday, May 5, 2010
"Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother"
I have been thinking a lot about families lately. What makes a family, and what makes a family work. How our family shapes the person we become. How my family is very nearly entirely made up by choice, and not biology.
Grandparents? Died before I was born.
Aunts and uncles? Died before I was 10.
Parents? See aunts and uncles.
Siblings? Two died before I was born. One died in 1991 and one in 1994. My remaining brother is my only tie to biology, though we share only the same mother. We were not raised together (he was 16 when I was born). We were separated when our mother died. I found him 14 years later.
Husband? Divorced (should I say failed?).
Yet I rarely feel the lack of family. Not because I am a loner - that is far from the truth. I have friends closer to me than I see some sisters. I have connections with so many people that I value so much - it feels inadequate to call them friends.
Though I divorced five years ago, my ex and I remain very close. We see each other at least once a week, and talk more often than that. We have built a relationship completely around our children, and it works very well.
He is recently remarried, and I have to say - he marries really great women. I was number two, and remain friends with his first wife. We met and built a friendship while caring for her daughter, now a woman, and one of the coolest people I know.
I went to my ex's wedding reception on Saturday. And I didn't even pull a Shelley Long on "Modern Family." Haven't seen it? Watch it - it is funny. I felt welcomed, and my kids were thrilled to have "all" their parents there. But there were some parents missing.
Mother's Day is coming up, and I am thinking of the women who bore my children. Unable to care for them, the children were removed from their care. They weren't able to pull their lives together - at all - and I was able to adopt these amazing kids. Could I love them any more if they came out of my body? I honestly, truly could not imagine so.
On Mother's Days past, I have cried. I have locked myself in the bathroom. I've rejoiced. Most years, it's a combination of the three.
This year, I hope it is mostly rejoicing.
Happy Mother's Day.