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Learning by example

July 24, 2012
Logo design by Christine Hepner

“Once I put the children to bed at night, then the lady next door would watch them for me. And I’d go to the post office and work at the post office all night. I’d get back in home in time to bathe the children, feed them and get them off to Catholic school. And then, I would take two hours for a nap and then go over to the college. And I’d go to college until it was time for them to get out of school. And I’d come home, get them from school, cooked and homework, get another two hours maybe, and then go to work.” Queen Latifah‘s Mom

“My mama is gangsta … you know?” Queen Latifah

I remember seeing an interview with Queen Latifah and her mom and being so moved. Some families have it so hard for so many reasons.

My friend (we’ll call her McGee to protect her identity) had her first baby when I was still in college. I came home for Spring Break that year and picked McGee up from the train station. She commuted every day into New York City from Port Jervis, NY. That’s nearly 6 hours a day on the train. Seriously, you can look up the schedule here if you don’t believe me. Now, yes, she was young and strong, but she rode that train every day until she was very, very pregnant. I picked her up on a Friday night from the train. (She also had to walk about 10 blocks to her apartment., and although it was April, it was still icy and snowy.) On Sunday, she had her baby. (We’ll call her Miss Tina to protect her identity.) Oh, and just to make it even more interesting, McGee’s husband was in the Navy and away on a 6-month mission. Did I mention that her mother couldn’t come to help her out because she had just had a  baby, too. Yes, McGee and her mother were pregnant almost at the same time.

I don’t think I ever once heard McGee complain.

I have other friends who have had unbelievable obstacles thrown at them and have managed to still raise amazing children. In fact, one of those “children” (she just finished her freshman year in college) is watching my child right now so that I can sit here and write my silly little blog post. Colleen (that’s her real name) is the kind of mother I hope to be to my son. As is Lisa and Marikate.

How am I doing so far? I think good with room for improvement. My first “performance review” was last month. I was standing in the ocean looking at my husband and son standing on the shore. Suddenly, I got knocked down by a rogue wave. Nothing tragic, but I had just stood up and started picking the sand and rocks out of my cleavage when D screamed, “Watch out!” I turned just in time to see that I was going to get knocked down but good this time, and I screamed. When I finally was able to stand up, I saw D on the shore holding my baby who was crying inconsolably. I think I will remember the look on his face until the day I die. There is no love like the unconditional love he has for me and D right now. D kept saying to him, “Mommy is ok, mommy is ok,” but it didn’t matter at all until I ran to him and held him myself. It was over in a minute, but it will sustain me for a lifetime.

Next time: Are you happy with your family?

Thanks for following and reading! I’d love to hear your story of IVF. Please leave your comments below.

© 2012

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