Okay, not in the traditional sense. But today, Mother's Day, made me think on this.
I am a mother of cats.
Again, not as cool as Mother of Dragons, and clearly not the same as mothering a small human, but I do care for my kitties and rush them to the vet when they are sick and maybe spoil them a little bit and scold them when they're naughty. So it counts as nurturing.
I am a mother of plants.
I spent a good part of this weekend buying and planting new flowers and herbs around my garden, and tending to some rather neglected spots that need weeds removed and dividing of plants that have grown a little too robustly. They reproduced better than I ever will. Is tending to my garden a kind of motherhood? I nurture small things and help them to grow and be successful and live a wonderful life that brings me and others joy. So of course, not like mothering a baby per se, but still I create and grow and help my little flowerbabies thrive.
I am a mother of teensy tiny angels.
Every once in a while, I remind myself that 27 embryos have passed (sadly, literally) through my uterus. 27 tiny, dividing, potential little lives. The sad part is none of them made it. Two of them made it a little further than the rest, but they all went the way of Lake Ontario. They are mine, mine and Bryce's, and their blobby portraits live in a drawer in the living room. I was their mother, and I remember them as their mother now, even though they never got the chance to have defined organs or a heartbeat.
I am a mother of 8 embryos that still have a shot.
Different kind of mother, because I am letting these go. They aren't both Bryce and me, as one set of two blasts are my eggs and donor sperm and the set of 6 2PNs are donor egg and Bryce's sperm, but we created them. We hoped to have had the chance to make those little (in one case REALLY little) embryos babies, but we couldn't be the ones to do it. So we are hoping that someone else will be successful with them. (Which really blows people's minds who don't know all the intricacies of gestational carrier, that we would have someone else carry them and then have them be THEIRS, but with our origins known and available to any resulting children.) They still exist, they are still potential people who have a chance to become something actual. So this is a weird kind of mothering, but mothering nonetheless.
I am the mother of a child I haven't met yet.
Even though we are feeling mildly discouraged with having had a call each month January, February, and March and then no call at all in April and the notification that our homestudy is expiring and needs re-upping, we are very, very much looking forward to the day we meet our baby. Our most mysterious of Mystery Babies, who will make us parents. Because my cats don't call me Mommy. My plants don't call me Mommy. Obviously, embryos don't have vocal cords. One day, assuming adoption does its magic (helped along by a hefty dose of perseverance and hope), we will have an actual tiny human to love and to raise and to help grow to his or her best potential. We love this child, this baby that has no discernible face yet. This baby that could be baking and nearly done or just starting to show itself on the outside. I have nested and prepared a space for this mysterious child in our home and laundered tiny things and flipped through the books that we will read to him or her at night. I have read books in the glider with a cat in my lap and imagined that that weight was a tiny human. I am ready to mother this child who is, again, potential and not actual.
These thoughts made me feel okay today, on a day that has historically, 7 not-me holidays in a row, been difficult. I had a little more sunshine, a little less rain, thinking on all the ways I mother now, and all the ways I am so ready to meet and mother our Future Baby.