I look at him and know: I am his real mother. And so is she. Both of us real, whole, complete, and needing each other. Because life didn’t weave a story where he has one, it wove a story where he would have both of us. One of us would give him life, a heritage, a history. And the other would raise him.
The whole idea of “meant to be” is a confusing one for me. Was I meant to be his mother? I’ve never wanted that to be true because that means he was meant to lose them and I refuse to believe that’s true. I refuse to believe that my “meant to be” hinged on the unfairness of life for others. So I’m okay with being his second best. The backup plan. The replacement. But what about for him? Does that mean his life will be spent in what wasn’t meant to be? Does that mean his life will always be second best? I refuse to believe that either.
So maybe there isn’t what is meant to be and what isn’t. Maybe there’s simply what is. And what we do with it. The life we create out of the life we are handed.
I thought I would be insecure about this question of realness. I thought I would worry about which one of us will hold the place in his heart marked “mother”. But I don’t. Because what I now know is far more important is there’s one in my heart for him marked “son”.
Hers was the heart he first heard beat. Listening to it as he grew beneath it. Its lifeblood flowing through him, nurturing him, creating him, one with him. And mine is the one he hears as he’s rocked to sleep, pounding beneath his little ear in a rhythmic dance of lifelove. There is no competition here, there is no either/or, there is simply both. We are Mother.