At the age of 43, I became a mother for the first time. When I found out I was pregnant: I cried, I laughed, I started shaking, and finally I fainted! When I came to, my doctor assured me I was healthy enough to carry this baby full term and she promised me she would monitor me more faithfully than her younger mothers-to-be. She was my age and never had children either. On delivery, we both agreed that this was the most beautiful baby we had ever seen. She and I had become very good friends and were in this learning experience together!
Learning to be a mother and being responsible for another human being at age 43 was much harder than I had previously thought. I was a really fun aunt, but then I could always go home afterwards and not think of them again until I was in their sight!
During the first few weeks after delivering my child, I started back into the routine of living my very active social life. I swore I would never tell this on myself (for fear of the authorities taking him away from me), but there were two times in that first month that I walked out the door, got into the car, and put it in reverse before I remembered my child was alone in the house.
As he grew, Doctor Karen would quiz him about his homeschool studies at my annual checkups and we were always amazed at his brilliance. (He was reading with inflection at age three.) This may sound like I am bragging on myself for having such an all around “perfect” child, but I know it had little to do with me. I was learning so much more from him than I could have ever imagined.
The greatest lesson I learned is: children come through us – they do not belong to us.
Footnote: 1.Doctor Karen died a few years back. 2.The ‘child’ we were both privileged to ‘learn about,’ is entering his last year @Indiana University on a full scholarship.