I loved baby dolls.
From the time I could first cradle one, I was into the whole doll thing and immediately began nurturing and mothering any doll I could get my hands on.
If there had been a disease called “dollitis”, then I most certainly had it!
One of my absolute favorites was a Tiny Thumbelina doll! She had a little wind up part on her back that would cause her to squirm around like a real newborn baby would! I was in doll heaven when she landed under the tree one beautiful Christmas morning.
So, it really made no sense that I when I grew up and desired to be married, I didn’t care much one way or the other whether or not I would have children. I figured my husband and I would, but it wasn’t a driving force in my life.
I had friends who longed to be a mother. Some were infertile and were taking desperate measures to have a child or even to adopt. I could see their tears and hear the longing in their voices as they expressed their desire to hold their own baby in their arms and pour their heart and soul into raising them.
When my husband and I were approaching the final year of his masters program, we decided it would be a good time to start a family. After all, everybody else was, so sounded like a good idea for us as well!
Unlike my struggling friends, pregnancy came very easy to us and we soon had a little deposit snuggled in for the nine month wait.
I can remember wondering what it would be like to have my very own baby. Would I really love this little person? Would I want to buy him/her clothes and things or would I still be thinking mainly about my own needs?
Having never been around many babies except to babysit and being the youngest in my family, even among all of my cousins, I was not totally sure what it would look like to be in charge of the life of another human being.
The months came and went until one November, we found ourselves at the hospital as contractions came closer together.
On November 26, Nicki, our first of five children was born and I had the official title of “mother”.
I don’t know exactly what happened when they handed me that tiny bundle but it hit me like a ton of bricks. Some people say it’s hormones that kick in or an innate mothering instinct that is wired into our female DNA. Whatever happened, it leveled me and I have never been the same since.
I became overwhelmingly aware that I was the main person in charge of her well-being and I was the life-giver. Not that I was necessarily God, but that I was her food source and the one who would spend most of the time teaching and training her about life. Her daddy would as well, but I would be the mom.
I knew that if anyone tried in anyway to harm her, I would give my very life to try to protect her.
There was no question as to whether my wants would go before her needs, my world became very tuned in to what her needs were and personal sacrifice on my part was not something I even struggled with but rather naturally wanted to do.
I had been infected with the mothering virus and despite the fact that all of my children have grown up and gone on with their own lives, I have never been cured.
Each one of the five that I delivered, brought about the same feelings. I never knew that I could love another child like I had loved the first and yet, instead of dividing, the love just multiplied.
Even today, as an empty- nester, when they call, I stop what I am doing and answer. If they ask for something and it is wise and within reason to provide it, I will move heaven and earth to make it happen. Woe be to the person who mistreats them, or causes them pain. A mamma bear is one forever, no matter where the cubs may roam.
I’ve had many infections that have usually been treated with a simple cure. This mothering thing is different though.
There is no cure and no desire to find one.
I have been infected and will never be the same.