As the years passed, my mom took on less and less children. My grandmother’s Alzheimer’s progressed so much that my mother could only really handle kinds three days a week, since she was caring for my gram the other two.
I was 22, slowly approaching 23 when my life changed forever. I had just come home from work – it had been a long day and I was ready to crash. As I walked up the driveway, I saw a silver minivan parked in our driveway and rolled my eyes, letting out a deep sigh. “Great,” I muttered to myself, another fucking kid.
I unlocked the back door and made my way through the kitchen, tripping over some Lego’s on the way in. “At least the kids aren’t that young.” I thought. But as I passed the kitchen table and saw a diaper bag, I knew an infant brat was about to shit all over my dreams of being able to sleep late during the week.
I could hear talking coming from the den and tried my best to sneak upstairs undetected. Of course, my attempts were futile and I heard my mother call, “Lauren come in here. That’s my daughter, Lauren…she’s great with kids.”
Dan and Laura seemed like nice people. He was a radiologist, she was a dietician whose maternity leave was just about up. They had a son named Ben…and then…(sigh) even thinking about it now, my heart swells and a tear comes to my eye. They were still making their introductions when my mom got up from her chair in the den and I saw her…
She couldn’t have been more than ten pounds – maybe a little more than a foot and a half long…and she was all cheeks. “Lauren would you mind watching her a second while Dan, Laura and I go to the kitchen to talk?”
“Yeah, yeah,” I said bending down to the ground. “What’s her name?” I called after them.
Laura turned back, smiled and said, “Josie – her name is Josie.”
Josie didn’t look too happy to see me – from the way she was giggling it definitely seemed like she had gas. I thought she was cute – that was as far as I was willing to let myself go when it came to kids. She was lying on her back on a blanket on the floor, some plastic pretzel keys in her mouth. She looked at me with curious eyes – I could tell she was smart. And then…she smiled at me.
She let out a laugh which in turn made me laugh and started flailing her arms wildly. I put my hand out, and she wrapped her pudgy little hand around my finger. That’s when I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I wanted to be a mother.