I knew with certainty at a very young age that I wanted, possibly even needed, to be a mom someday. In my girlish fantasy, my home echoed with laughter and fighting of a child and his siblings--four youngsters in total--while my husband and I prepared dinner and alleviated the worries of our children with a smile and a hug.
Oh, the naivete' of childhood.
I have been a single mom since the beginning of my pregnancy; yet even after 8 years, I find myself continually surprised by the closed-minded, often judgmental responses people give when learning this. First, they assume I am divorced. When they discover that I've never been married, they presume the worst about my moral fortitude. (No one has ever done this verbally, but such assumption is easily read on one's face.) When learning that my son's father and I conscientiously and maturely decided that marriage was not the solution to our parenting situation, the conversation becomes slightly uncomfortable. When I announce that my son's father, step-mom, and I get along quite well given our unique parenting roles, brows raise in perplexed confusion. And when I explain my views about single motherhood being a part of God's plan for my life, they run for the holy water.
Those who know me well know that I believe in God, but that my faith is in many ways cumulus--both well-defined and fuzzy, much like the clouds of the same nature. This is not to say I am a fair-weather fan, a believer only when it works for me; instead, my faith is mine--a private matter for the most part--that I do not feel comfortable discussing at great length with most people, mainly because my views on God's role in our lives is often controversial to Christians more devout than I.
I inherently believe that being a single mother is part of my path, destiny (or whatever you choose to call it) that God set out for me. If I had waited for society's definition of the ideal family structure--living happily-ever-after with the Prince Charming from my childhood vision--to become a mom, I would still be waiting for that glass slipper. Of course, I understand the science behind my son's creation (and give that science its due for its role), but I also know that His blessing came sublimely into my life, giving me hope and faith in something more. His plan for me, as His plans always do, tempered mine, quieting my longing for a family of my own. His plan for me, as His plans always do, brought me the endless joy (and frequent headaches) of motherhood. His plan for me made me me.
And so, when I grow up, I want to be a mother. My home will echo with the laughter of a son and I will alleviate his worries with a smile and a hug. I will relish in the naivete' of childhood, knowing that when I grow up, I will be whole.