(This slice was inspired by this post by medunn80, another fabulous teacher-slicer!)
I never expected to be a mother. Or a wife, for that matter.
Oh, I had my favorite baby dolls growing up, and a couple of teen crushes on celebrities. Had serious boyfriends, too. But I never thought about marriage, never bought a bridal magazine like my high school friends who pored over them and had their perfect dresses picked out even before the perfect partner appeared.
I never thought about it because somewhere along the way, I received the message that boys don't like smart girls. I was the nerdy girl in glasses, overweight most of my childhood, often the teacher's pet, the go-to gal for homework help and the one to get bullied when I set the curve. When you throw being a military brat into the mix, you do not get the elements of a hometown high school sweethearts love story.
So it really was a shock (in a good way) when my husband proposed to me on St Patrick's Day, twenty-seven years ago. An even bigger epiphany was that I wanted to have children with this man, because I knew he'd be a great father. I had no idea what kind of mother I would be, though after teaching for a few years, I had a few non-examples, and realized what a great job my own mother had done.
Before the birth of our first child, I was a planner. There were wedding plans, meal plans, even work outfit plans. And, of course, lesson plans, as I taught until I got pregnant. After six years of teaching special education, I was worn out and frazzled, and we decided I could take a break. I started tutoring in the evenings to maintain some income. Life was going along as planned, until my firstborn changed everything.
She decided to be born at twenty-six weeks.
This was certainly not what my OB-GYN and I had in mind. If you ever want proof that we are not in control in this life, having a premature baby clinches it. I've told our daughter that she chose to come into the world early because she was meant to be a Virgo, meant to be born on her grandmother's birthday. She was an old soul who knew her path already--even the NICU nurses saw that. We learned a lot through that experience, especially about angels on earth in the guise of nurses, doctors, and family and friends and strangers who prayed for us. Our daughter survived the first critical 24 hours, and has gone on to lead a fairly uneventful but fulfilling twenty-one-plus years, with a promising future in store.
And our second-born son? Well, he had to outdo his sister...but that's a story for the next blogpost.