You were an accident, an unintended teenage slip that changed my life. Sounds harsh, right? Maybe, but it’s the truth—one seldom spoken of unplanned pregnancies. I wasn’t ready to be a mom. I wasn’t even ready to be an adult. You changed that.
When I was just 18 years old, you were handed to me. I was then responsible for another life. I was supposed to feed you, comfort you, protect you, teach you, and provide the foundation for you to grow into a man of upstanding morals and integrity. I wasn’t even sure I knew how to keep you alive!
My young mind had no way to grasp the gravity of being a mom. My headstrong, determined personality (yes, you get that from me) wouldn’t allow me to admit that, so instead I dove headfirst into this parenting thing.
I wish I could tell you that you were conceived out of love or that your father wanted you as bad as I did. I wish I could say that although we weren’t ready, we prepared as we watched my belly grow. I wish I could tell you anything but the truth: Your father wanted no part of our life. Again, my headstrong, determined personality took over as I resigned myself to the knowledge I was on my own. My second month of pregnancy marked my last contact with him. I was a statistic—a teenage single mom.
It didn’t take me long to grow up. Through midnight feedings and endless laundry, doctor’s visits and childproofing the house, I transitioned from an immature, selfish teen to a responsible, selfless mom. We struggled. Together, we have faced some really tough challenges. Many nights were spent on the floor, your cries drowning out mine as I held you and desperately tried to console you. There were times I had to choose between rent and groceries, and I spent countless hours away from you, working second jobs and double shifts. There was heartache and frustration, disappointment and pain, exhaustion and desperation. But there was never any doubt we would make it. There was no other choice.
It hasn’t been all struggles though. You fill my life with joy and excitement. You view the world with an innocent wonder that is inspiring and motivating. I have taught you and seen you absorb information and lessons. I’ve had to stand aside as life has taught you its own lessons as well. I have watched you as you’ve grown into a little man, with opinions, qualities and a personality all your own. I have looked at you with tear-filled eyes as I am amazed by you and so proud to be your mom. I have played with you, laughed with you, read to you, watched as you slept, and worried when you got on the school bus. I have wiped your tears and kissed your boo-boos, chased away monsters, and cared for you in sickness.
I have been your mom, and you have been my whole world.
I wasn’t ready. You came without instructions, manuals or warnings. You simply came full of trust and love. Every day isn’t beautiful, and there are still struggles and obstacles. I’m not a perfect parent, just as you aren’t a perfect child. We have mastered the art of apologies and hugs. But there isn’t a night that I don’t worry, just before I drift off, that I’m doing it all wrong and leaving you scarred and damaged. I don’t know what path I would have taken without you, or if I would have ever been ready to take the path of motherhood. What I do know is that you have taught me how to love and given purpose to my life. I’ve put being a parent and caring for you before myself, and every single day I do the best I can as a mom.
This year, you turned 9. You like girls in your class and struggle with multiplication. You wrestle for the local rec league and had to start wearing glasses. You are incredibly smart and love being the center of attention and making people laugh. I am proud of how kind, giving and honest you are. You’ve become so social and are usually found surrounded by a group of friends.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m the luckiest mom in the world. I wasn’t ready for motherhood, for you. But so far, I think I’ve done pretty well. Heck, I’ve even managed to keep you alive.