She was all cheeks…

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.

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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.

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