Maybe Tomorrow

April 23, 2010

Tomorrow we test. When the stick says yes, I will become a mother. For better or for worse, for 6 days or sixty years, I will die having been a mother. That’s really how I think about it.

Secretly, I want to be alone for a moment, to have a few seconds to attach to my new self. For me and the maybe to recognize one another. Well, actually, the maybe knows me, but I dont know her, yet. I want to have a moment alone to recognize my maybe and myself as someone’s mother.

So, if I’m going to become a mother tomorrow, who am I tonight? What is a non-mother? Or, who? Surely, the opposite of mother isnt daughter. What is the opposite of mother? (Hopelessness, spinelessness, selfishness?)  If the test says yes, which part of me do I lose or let go? There’s no word for not-mother, is there? I mean, I guess in some not-true way “lesbian”, or “barren” or “old maid” used to mean that, but not even really. There’s just no word for it.

My not-mother self has been a judgmental daughter. I’ve spent a lot of time judging my mothers, both of them, and wanting exactly what they couldnt give me. I could have blood or I could have a bed, but not both. Eyes, nose, breast, throat or food, clothing and shelter, but not both.

When I become a mother, I open myself up to a kind of love I have never experienced, never given or gotten.  Since I havent ever received love from my biological mother or even really laid eyes on her, will my love for my kid be different from other mothers’ love? To what am I naive? If I have a daughter and I love her, will it feel the way it mightve felt to love my mother? And what, oh what, about a son?

I do know how it felt to love my dad. It was heartache and devotion. It was oneness and comfort. How I endlessly, tenderly fingered his weaknesses looking at him, how my sense of unconditional affiliation never wavered. I was indomitably, irrevocably attached to him and his brown hair, his skin tanned red and fuzzy blue tattoos. And then I couldnt be anymore because he was dead.

I was listening to the radio the other day and a woman was talking about a famous parrot. She said they put the parrot in front of a mirror and he said, because he could talk, he said, “Who is that?” and the researchers said, “Thats you,” and he knew he was him. I don’t know if it’s true, but that’s the way I heard it.

When I got that picture of my mother holding me, I had a similar feeling. Like a bird, like some kind of very smart, pea-brained bird, sandwiched between not one, but two, mirrors. A picture of myself in my mind’s eye and the picture of my mother, each were mirrors and there were a thousand of us, over and over. If she had been in front of me, if her eyes, nose, breast and throat had been right in front of me, I might’ve gotten dizzy and had to sit down. I imagine that becoming a mother will feel like that.

Tonight, I am not savoring the final moments of being free-wheeling, of our awesome childlessness. I’m not trying to brace against the moment at which I have a child and will therefore teeter on the edge of not having a child for as long as we both shall live. I’m not writing to rev myself up, or cast doubt, to list my symptoms or debate about whether or not I am actually pregnant.

I am writing as someone who hasn’t begun to know what love is. At least, I hope that is who I am — compared to who I will be.

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One Response to “Maybe Tomorrow”

  1. Nicole said

    This is beautiful. I want to say something more except, well, I can’t.

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