Otherwise, it still all feels surprisingly unreal. I'm not sure why -- when I went to college, which was a big life change, it was tremendously exciting but certainly felt real and present. Whereas with this, Kev and I just keep asking each other, bewildered, "Can you believe that we actually made a person? How wacky is that?" It's so startling that having a tiny bit of sex can actually make a real human being. I am also surprised when I toss down some seeds and a few months later I have grass, or arugula, or California poppies (which are just starting to open, so pretty). And the whole tiny-acorn-turns-into-mighty-oak thing is pretty good. But getting a real live baby is just more impressive.
My sister has commented a few times that she can't believe I'm a mother. And my father said on the phone this week that he never expected that I would become a mother. Despite nine months of pregnancy, it hasn't really sunk in, that Kevin and I are parents now. I've spent close to two decades as an adult now, and gotten a pretty solid sense of self, grounded in friends and family and love and work -- but not children, except as they came along with some of my friends (and some of my little cousins). I've been a student and a writer and teacher and an editor and an organizer and a party planner and an amateur photographer and an ardent cook...etc. and so on, for almost twenty years. I've lived on my own for years, and with roommates, and with a partner, and with a dog (and fish, and flowers).
This is so different from my mother's experience -- she married at eighteen and had me at nineteen; she was a stay at home mom who raised three daughters. Her entire sense of self as an adult has been entangled with motherhood. While I can't speak for certain for her feelings, it seems like only now, as the last of her children finish school (my younger sister just finished med school last week, hooray Dr. Sharmila!), that she's starting to think of herself as not just a mother. I think it's going to take me quite a while to reframe myself as being in some part, a mother. Will I end up feeling like I'm primarily a parent, as so many parents do? I just don't know at this point. Big adventure!