Nineteen


Life has different seasons….not only in the “september song” kind of way, I mean through existence-from minute to minute let alone anything else.
When I was nineteen, I was a lot of things at once, beginning with a resurgence of my “crazy side,” you know when all of a sudden it’s a few days later according to the calendar…that kind of crazy. I know the impetus of much of it had to do with birthmotherhood…not the birth part, that was incredible and beautiful. Completely natural childbirth, mind you-no annestesia just a lot of panting and blowing.
By the way, when women describe the birth process as feeling like passing a watermellon through the eye of a needle, well, they are right. Oooooh!
Too bad the mirror they had in the room was so small, with my bad eyes I couldn’t see the actual birth, but when they brought him to me I saw this most amazing face! These incredible fingers and toes! And his eyes…he looked right at me.

As I said,it wasn’t the “birth” part that was the problem.
It was the “motherhood,” or actually lack thereof that got to me. The birthfather was very supportive, poor thing I know it was ripping him to pieces, too.

It was weird going back into regular life, trying to act like nothing happened because that’s what we were supposed to do.

Somehow I had to survive. I got a job during the day at Dunn and Bradstreet in downtown Philadelphia. I loved the subway ride, not just because it was a train-I’m such an addict!-but because I could see the hospital where my birthson was born through the non-tagged portions of the window. Somehow it helped me feel a connection.
Whenever it got too much through the years (and it did for quite a while on his birthday, or any other day that tugged at my memory), I would remember the last time we birthparents held our birthson before leaving him at the hospital. We looked into his eyes and said that we’d meet again.

As would prove out in later years, that connection was not just a figment of my imagination because my birthson has found not only me, but his birthfather and a whole new family he didn’t know about. And he has enriched our lives with his family, too.

My nineteenth year was, as I said, a lot of things at once. It wasn’t easy trying to act like nothing was wrong when inside everything felt wrong, seemed foreign…unnatural.

But for some reason, I had the dogged determination to survive-even when a lot of me wanted to give up. Maybe I wasn’t so crazy after all, just living in survival mode. Hmmm.

So anyway, for today Fifty five will be the new nineteen…not because of all the difficulties, but because of the will to survive them, and the wonder that is possible if you just hang in there.

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