Friday, February 4, 2011
This past Christmas, our daughter, Lucy, gave us an ornament that she made at a make-your-own-pottery place—it is a glazed red mitten with “Mom2” written across it—I have told people that it is the perfect gift for a scientist to give her “two moms.” The fact is that while Teri and I did not raise children together, we have both been mothers for almost our entire adult lives—both of us became mothers for the first time in our early twenties and all of our children are young adults. How to merge our different versions of family into one all-encompassing family was definitely part of the negotiations we shared while we were dating, and it has been a reality of building a committed life together as well.
We are mothers—even though we are different sorts of mothers, Teri and I—and we have different memories, thoughts and feelings around our evolving motherhood—but we also have some shared sensibilities around it. Our motherhood is woven into who we are in the world and keeping our lives welcoming and open to our children has been a key element to our coming together as a couple.
All of our children are going to be part of our planned ceremony. My youngest and only son, Stuart, is going to walk me “down the aisle” and our four daughters: Ashley, Leah, Lucy and Lilly are all going to be bridesmaids and stand up with us during the ceremony. They were the first ones we told once we decided to get married and their involvement, blessing and input has been incredibly important to us. We couldn’t imagine setting out on our shared life together without them. While they are all embarking on their own lives as independent adults, Teri and I are still determined to combine our two worlds into a family—after all, isn’t that what moms do?
There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t check in with each other around “the kids”—who has called or emailed or what do we know about what they are each and all up to. We worry, wonder, and reminisce about them and while we are living as “empty nesters” with just our three cats and dog, Lola to fuss over, the door is always open and we are always available to the “kids” too. Of course, they are not always eager or forthcoming with information about THEIR lives which is as it should be at this stage.
We may not have been mothers together while all these kids were growing up, but it definitely feels as though we are mothers together now.