I am not what people call the “motherly” type. I am sure this has something to do with the fact that I am about as friendly as a sea urchin. But to those who really know me, I just don’t do babies. I have five nephews and two nieces, and I can count on one hand the number of times I actually held them as newborns. Even then it was done with the same grace as if someone said, “Here, can you hold this undetonated WWII mortar? Nothing will happen, I promise.”
Some people are just naturally born with this gene. I was not. But that’s fine with me, because I assume it was replaced with the gene that allows me to remember all the lyrics to songs from the 1980s but strangely not what I did five minutes ago. (Shout-out to all you Corey Hart fans out there. Never Surrender! *virtual fist bump*)
My mother, aka Miss Daisy, was born with this gene. I’m the youngest of five siblings, and there are 9-13 years between me and the others. Obviously I grew up in a Catholic family. But also I like to think my parents decided to store up all the good genes (including the aforementioned 80s music gene) and create their favorite child. Having not existed at the time my siblings were born, I don’t know how she could have 4 kids under the age of 5 at one time and yet not drink. That is one of the great mysteries of life I will never understand, along with how the Great Pyramids were built.
When I first got engaged I gave my ex the full legal disclaimer that I made no promises about having children and if he wanted to rescind the offer of marriage I would give him an out. He declined and said he was fine with it as long as I would consider adoption. As it turns out, the contract was defective because he agreed with his fingers crossed behind his back thinking I would someday change my mind. I should have had this in writing. Bad lawyer. This was ultimately what forced the breakup, as he found an ex who was divorcing with two kids and an insta-family for him. In hindsight I am very grateful that I did not capitulate into passing on his clearly flawed genes.
As I sit here on Mother’s Day night after a full day of viewing Facebook posts of friends with their gaggles of children, I think I should be feeling inadequate. At least society tells me that I should feel that way. Every store I went into today, including the gas station with the barely English-speaking cashier, I was wished “Happy Mother’s Day.” Why does our society assume that every 40-something year old woman has children? I am not sad about the fact I don’t. I don’t think it would make me somehow more complete. I’m fine just the way I am, now hand me my box of wine.
The only thing that I slightly regret is that I won’t get to be a hockey mom. I think I would be a badass hockey mom. But does that make up for the rest? I mean, I’m a humorist. I talk to many truly hilarious people. I can’t afford to be peeing my pants all day. I don’t have to give up wine for 9 months. And being a pregnant cougar is a bit of a turnoff on dating sites.
Despite the fact that I don’t have children, it doesn’t mean that I’m not a mom. At one time I had three dogs, but now I’m down to one. And I spent this Mother’s Day home cooking low phosphorus food for her and giving her a bath for her staph infection and subcutaneous fluids for her kidney disease. She is my baby, and if I could donate a kidney to her, I would. The real advantage to having pets instead of kids is that you can lock them up and leave them all day without the risk of coming home to find DCF at your door. And they will still lick you and love you as if they’d never seen you before. If you did that to your kids you could pretty much guarantee when you are old they would stick you in a nursing home for doing that.
So what if my kids have fur? I’m a hairy French Canadian. That would have happened anyway.