In many ways the choices of my life have led me to be the mother that I am today. I did not always want to be a mother; I wanted a tubal ligation when I was 16. My experience as the oldest child in a single-parent household and a babysitter for many families made me feel that being a mother was not what I wanted for my life. Thankfully, my doctor would not do the procedure. I also never planned on getting married. I planned on eating microwave turkey dinners for Thanksgiving. Well, sometimes plans have a way of changing on you
My “babies,” who are almost 6 now, talk about their futures and what they want to be as they grow up and how they see their lives. I love that they want to be a million different things and go to places across the globe that I have never seen. The lives that they see vary from day to day. I hear my daughters talk about their feelings about being a mother and my son about being a father. We have encouraged the children to ask questions about anything as they have grown up, and as I have written about before, those questions are occasionally daunting.
Olivia is my daughter through and through. She does not want babies. She does not want to be a mother or get married. Olivia will ask questions though about whom she might marry later. Her brother would be her first choice, and her daddy is her second choice. We have explained repeatedly that she cannot legally marry her brother and her daddy is already my husband so he is out of the running, too.
Benjamin wants to be a daddy, not a father. He asks how he can be a daddy and also if he needs a mommy for the baby. Dr. Seuss should have written a book called “Oh, The Questions They will Ask” because I would live with that book under my pillow. Benjamin wants to stay home with his children so that the mommy can work.
Rebecca is a mini me. When my dad met her for the first time he did a double take, and I saw the look on his face that told me that he loved me when I was young. Rebecca is ready to be a mommy. She is very affectionate and has empathy beyond her years. Rebecca wants to get married and have babies. She has chosen her husband – one of her classmates – though I don’t know if he is aware of it yet. This young man’s mother and I have spoken and both agree that it is a good match.
My husband and I are very open to the fact that our three children may not have “traditional” relationships as adults. In my opinion, all I want is for each of them to be happy. I also know that choices that are made now may not be how things work out in the future. When I am asked by my little ones who they will marry I answer in a way so that they will know that the person they love is more important to me than the gender of that person. My husband and I both agree on this which is a relief. I love my children and all I want is for them to be happy and enjoy their lives.
Off topic: My friend Katie Weaver is the mother of Tyler and Jonathan Weaver from Hudson Falls. They are the family that has been the international sensation due to a brief phone call to the local newspaper about how proud Katie is of her sons reading progress. For the fifth year in a row Tyler has won the award of top reader. Jonathan won for his age group! Katie is an amazing mother with well rounded children. Unfortunately, the children’s room librarian was not happy about Tyler’s winning for five consecutive years.
What started out as a positive story about the Weaver family turned into a summer long slam of the family. I am bias because of my friendship with Katie, but she is a mother who makes choices based on the best interests of her children. Her sons are the most important people in her life and the attacks on her are unwarranted.
Choices are made. Books are read. Prizes won. Shouldn’t we be elated that a young man is reading?
Jennifer Steuer is an Albany mom, whose busy household includes her husband, Harlan, and 5-year-old triplets Olivia, Benjamin and Rebecca. The one thing she misses most about pre-triplet days is sleep.