Today, as I write this blog, I am 35 weeks pregnant with my first, and likely only, child. It’s been a long emotional and physical process for my partner and I to get where we are now. There were disagreements in our late 20s about IF we should have a child at all. There were a number of years of therapy to dig through the weeds of my own childhood trauma, my distrust of myself as a potential mother, and the open wounds within my romantic relationship. There was a painful miscarriage along the way. And now, over the past eight months, I am finding myself transforming into a mother at the age of 41. “Journey” is the only word to describe how becoming a mother has felt for me.
This past week, I began writing a blog speaking to how some of the current humanitarian crises, such as the war in Ukraine and the conflict in Yemen, affect even those of us living far away from these complex situations. I was only a couple of hundred words into it but I thought it had great potential. I was planning to finish it today but, unexpectedly, my dog was hurt and had to have emergency surgery. My whole day's “to-do list” was turned upside down. I didn’t accomplish any of the things I’d hoped to. For example, I wasn’t able to visit the two Intensive programs that were starting today. And I wasn’t able to provide a new employee the training that I had promised. And I missed a couple of meetings.
I was just 14 years old when I took my first job in Food and Beverage, slinging fries at the local McDonalds. It was the only place in town that would hire someone so young and, obviously, it wasn’t glamorous: I left each shift covered with a fine mist of stinking fry oil that only exacerbated my teenage acne. But I stuck with it because I liked the way the team worked together, like gears in a clock, to kick out order after order when our dining room was full. I especially enjoyed the shrill, thrilled squeals of kids when they opened up their Happy Meal to find a Power Ranger or Space Jam toy. I’m guilty of sneaking an extra toy to a kid or two during my time there. Sorry, boss.