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It’s 1:43 in the morning. I know because I’m looking at the clock beside my bed. And I’m looking at the clock beside my bed at 1:43 in the morning because my nine-year-old son is standing beside my bed. He’s had a bad dream. He needs to sleep with me. Despite the fact that morning is less than five hours away and with it the work of the day, I roll over and make room for him, reducing my allotted half of the bed to a quarter. When you’re a parent, there is no such thing as being “off the clock.”
Becoming a mother flowed out of a larger life that I’d been given, a life that had been delivered to me by Providence.I don’t remember particularly wanting children before I became a parent. I also don’t remember not wanting them either. And in an age that has consecrated individual expression and personal choice, this might be one of the most heretical statements I’ve ever made. From our earliest days, we are taught to plan out our lives—to “decide what to be and go be it.” And so to not have an opinion about your own reproduction is, at best, negligence and at worst, sacrilege. After all, if you don’t even know if you want this child, how can we trust you to care for it? And so we look askance at people who are “surprised” by a pregnancy or who don’t seem particularly burdened to control their own fertility. If nothing else, we must be intentional.
Mother - Choice - Streams - Life—streams - Time
But for me, becoming a mother felt less like a choice and more like being carried along by larger streams in my life—streams that merged and converged through time, whose sources could be traced back to before I ever walked the earth. My becoming a...
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