"You were not an accident where no one thought it through . . ." - Brandi Carlie
I was reminded this week that I made a powerful choice to turn from one kind of love in order to embrace another. This is not usually the choice that people make. In fact, choice is often not even a factor in deciding to start a family, or even, in some cases, to marry and start a partnership. Love happens. Weddings are planned. Child(ren) arrive.
It is the story that I most often took for granted when I was young. It was a story that we all would/should have in our lifetime; the story of love, marriage, and babies - in that order, no deviation, with much fanfare and lots and lots of acceptance, as the norm. It was the story of two people who find each other, out of the myriad of combinations that might have been possible and fall deeply, madly, irreversibly in love. We all know this story. It was told to us on billboards and commercials and the classic "Hollywood meet cute." Then, as the 21st Century progressed, we saw it in YouTube videos of quirky romantic proposals and filtered images on our Instagram feeds. #FirstComesLove. #ThenComes Marriage. #ThenComesBaby.
I was reminded this week that I made a courageous choice to turn from one kind of love in order to embrace another kind of love, which is not the norm, by any stretch of the imagination. You don't turn from love; love expands to include. Partnership is entered into for the sake of the soon to be arrival of tiny stakeholder(s). You do not turn from one kind of love, instead the love you have for your partner becomes an extension - your heart walking around outside your body and whoa it looks just like this person who you loved first, beyond measure, with absolute abandon and with trust that this love, this first love would be the greatest adventure ever. This first love would naturally, normally, include babies, who become toddlers, who become children, then young adults, then your adult offspring who you think are pretty cool.
I was reminded this week that my choice was not a random one born out of lack of love in my life. It was a calculated, intentional design to become love personified. To be mother. To be mommy. To be fully alive in one of the most natural acts of self-less-ness that one can embody - to mother. And the beauty of mothering as a single parent is that I don't have anyone standing over my shoulder telling me to do it differently. I don't have the daily little negotiations of time and space and styles that can needle a marriage. Because love happens. Weddings are planned. Child(ren) arrive. And nobody, very often [I don't want to generalize but] very often no one has made an intentional choice to build this family unit, to create a community, to bring together a village, to gather round the family, guarding and protecting it.
I was reminded this week that I made a very conscious decision to turn from romantic love to become love personified for two tiny human beings. Oh! But at what cost to my womanhood?
I was reminded this week that it is not just eros that I am missing by having turned away from romantic love, it is the assurance that the same someone, who stood over your shoulder telling you to do it differently, is also the same someone who will touch the small of your back one winter night, as a gentle reminder that you are beautiful, chosen and deeply, deeply admired. Because, after all, you are also the same someone who, mere moments before stepping out into the chilly air, wiped shit up off the floor. So it is with that simple gesture, on that rare quiet evening out with your first love, that you are able to choose - that love and the love(s) at home. Both, at the same time.
I'm Kimberly. Single mother by choice. Now also wife. Holder of space. Maker of place. Mom. Mama. Mommy. Mitch. These are my thoughts, reflections, ideas and random observations about raising twin sons.
Subscribe: click RSS icon