I am sick. Not the dying sick, but the perpetually sick, the we-can-help-you-manage-your-pain-but-we-can’t-cure-you sick. I need a lot of bloodwork and my phlebotomist calls me Momma.
But I never felt that primal need some other women have, the urge to grow children inside and deliver them to the world.
I am a Teacher, and a good one. I help dry tears and give advice and attend youth sporting events and pat hands when words are simply not what is needed. I am an Auntie, and a good one. I can diaper and feed and read to and sing to and put to bed and play with.
And I am grateful, oh so grateful, to not have produced a child to inherit this sick, or welcomed children into my home only to see me in this state, unable to care for anyone, least of all myself.
But I think of them sometimes, the children in need of a Momma — two little boys in a wall full of photos of adoptable children I spotted in grad school during a pit stop at a fast food place over a semester break — entwined and smiling, wearing matching blue shirts and heart-catching smiles. My eyes tracked to their faces, on this poster I had never before seen. I instantaneously felt they were mine and I was theirs and I should call for them and go to them, quickly, instead of standing mutely by the side door to the parking lot with a bag full of rapidly cooling fries. But I was a student with neither money nor a full-time job and no way to support us, this instant family. So I hug them in dreams and pray they found a Momma who loves them very much indeed.
I am just so sorry it could not have been me.