Monday, May 18, 2015

From Left to Write: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

I received this book the Saturday before Mother's Day, and expected to use it as an escape from such a painful weekend. These plans were short sided as the book deals with the two issues I wished to escape: infertility and miscarriage. Suffice to say I put the book down for a while and have only recently found it in myself to pick it back up.

Again I found myself questioning, "Am I a mother?" Society, even most friends and family, would probably say no. Yet I carried a child with half my DNA (albeit briefly). All children have at least one mother and father. Who else would be this child's mother if not me? I love Jesse with a mother's love. I grieve like only a mother could. But yet, I different.

I am not parenting like all the other mothers. I am not raising my child with all the joy and heartache that entails. Being the mother of an angel is hard. Being the mother of a living child is also hard, but in a completely different way. The two are beyond compare.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a mother. I became a mother as soon as my egg met my husband's sperm and nothing, nothing can take that from me. But I am not a parent. I stopped being a parent the moment I got the fateful call from my OB saying my numbers had fallen below 5. I believe when most people think of mothers they are actually thinking of female parents. A small distinction, but an important one to a non-parenting mother (through death, adoption, estrangement, etc). I hope one day to be a parent again to another child, one who gets to live. Then maybe Mother's Day will be cause for celebration.

This post was inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy, a novel about two women are connected by an Underground Railroad doll. Join From Left to Write on May 19th as we discuss The Mapmaker’s Children. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Monday, May 4, 2015

From Left to Write: Spinster by Kate Bolick

My life has been very different from Kate's, seeing as I married my husband at the age of 21 and continue to have a happy marriage. Yet I didn't always think my life would turn out this way. I didn't date in high school and have never gone searching for love. It's quite a coincidence that I met my husband at all, and he had to work hard to convince me to date him!

I've written before (for another FL2W book) that I'm closer to being asexual than not. I have now heard a term I think suits me perfectly: demisexual. Basically it takes a deep emotional connection for me to feel attraction to someone. If you haven't read my previous post I would recommend it, as I don't want to spend too much time on that topic in this post.

Anyway I never knew being married would be in the cards for me, especially not so young. I've always seen myself as a future mother but not so much a wife. Funny how that worked out, isn't it? Married for 5 and a half years but still not parenting. I didn't feel the need for a man in my life and had a hard time picturing that for myself. I could have easily ended up an old cat lady librarian and thought there were worse fates.

Would I have been as happy? I don't know. Throughout the past few years I've relied heavily on my husband for emotional and financial support. There have been many times where my marriage felt like the only positive aspect of my life. Maybe without him I wouldn't even be here; my depression almost got the better of me even with his help. If in this hypothetical my health didn't deteriorate as it has I think I could have been happy living as a spinster. Maybe not as happy, but you can't miss what you've never known.

This post was inspired by Spinster by Kate Bolick, who explores singledom with famous women who fashioned life on their own terms. Join From Left to Writeon May 5th as we discuss Spinster. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.