My take on being engaged to a man with children was simple : they will be my kids and I will care for them as my mother did for me. Their father is a very capable and efficient parent, having dealt with three small boys alone for ten plus years, which makes my entry into this little family a little easier. And besides I’ve always wanted a big family. But today a new realization hit me as I watched Gary with his second oldest son, singing along to ‘The Last Goodbye’ (after a Tolkein marathon). What is it really like to be a mother?
I have no doubt that I will love the boys like they are my own and they will love me too but I didn’t experience their birth, didn’t tend to them as babies, didn’t watch them walk or talk for the first time and all those other milestones that parents eagerly lookout for. As I watched Gary cuddle with his son, I realized I could not come close to feeling what this man felt for his children, not because I don’t love them but because I have absolutely no idea what he feels for them. It’s not a quantity thing – its a quality thing. What is it like to see your child being born and over time watch that tiny nugget of a human being get bigger, be able to walk, talk, feed himself, dress himself? It suddenly occurred to me that ‘love’ was too simple a term to use for the complex emotion a parent must feel for his/her child although the meaning of ‘love’ is vague and open to individual interpretation. I felt sad thinking I may never get a chance in this lifetime to know this ‘love’or whatever it might be. I’m not sure if its all in my head or some unknown (maybe known?) hormonal reaction prompted by my ageing (and dying) 32 year old eggs that is making me think this way. Maybe this is my body’s last ditch effort at convincing me to get pregnant asap! Well not this year but even thought the chances decrease with each passing year, one can always hope.