Well, at least one of us is writing. Corinne just finished her first paper for her English class. (FYI, my wife is currently kicking the shit out of the Marketing program at the College of Saint Scholastica.) I love it. It’s honest, it’s introspective, it’s interesting.
She’s not sure about letting me post it here, but I totally reassured her that y’all don’t judge. (Back me up on this one, people.) FYI, Josie’s dad DID totally come around. Josie and her father have a great relationship. Also, for the record, the line about not meeting his family was creative license. She had at least met his family.
And so, without further adieu, I give to you a 730-word narrative of awesomeness:
The Day I Was Born
Being nineteen was stressful enough. Being nineteen and bringing a new life into this world, on my own, changed my perspective on, well, everything. On March 5, 1991, she showed up, right on time, blue and not breathing – immediately starting the chain of events that would forever redefine who I am.
When I was eighteen, I thought eighteen was stressful. Same with seventeen – I’m pretty sure I thought every year was stressful from the time I turned thirteen and entered what I thought would be the defining years of my life; I was the center of my own drama. I was quiet and fairly shy, but I wanted to be outgoing and dramatic. I dreamed of being tall and beautiful, with long hair and a perfect complexion. But instead I was vertically challenged, average looking, prone to frequent acne breakouts and my mom endeavored to keep my hair short. My preconceived notions of who I should be did nothing for my self-esteem. This self-inflicted state dictated my choices and my behaviors. I wanted to be that person I saw in my imagination and I wanted someone to love that vision of me – or so, I thought.
I met him when I was still seventeen at the end of my senior year in high school. He was new and that was exciting. He wasn’t tall, but he was tan with dark hair, brown eyes and a contagious laugh. I knew I wanted to get to know him better and for him to want to get to know me better too. I should mention at this point that he was also a resident in the boys’ halfway house for recovering teen alcohol and drug-addicts located in our town – girls were pretty much off-limits as a condition of residency in the program. However, that didn’t stop me – I was selfish and his success or failure in the program wasn’t on my agenda.
We spent time together the rest of that school year and into the summer. Eventually he was banned from leaving the halfway house without a peer chaperone and I was banned from the program’s premises as well. We had connected and now we were banned from each other – a great romantic drama in the making. Summer passed by quickly and eventually I left for college in the fall while he continued his sobriety program. Coincidentally, college for me was located in his hometown and when he was allowed visits home, they included visits to see me too. Our relationship wasn’t doing much to help him through his program, but I chose not to think about that. I was more interested in knowing that he was choosing to be with me.
At the end of my first semester of college, he returned from his stay at the halfway house. I was excited that finally we were going to be a ‘normal’ couple – with real dates. I was sure I would meet his friends, meet his family, see where he lived… None of this was the case. Instead, he broke up with me. I was devastated. He hadn’t wanted me to be part of his life; he had wanted a distraction from his reality. (No different from the distraction I wanted from myself, but I wasn’t going to admit that.)
Six months passed, we’d both gone our separate ways and I continued to try to be the girl in my imagination. He re-entered my life after my freshman year of college and this time there were no restrictions. He had just graduated from high school and moved into his own apartment. We were together less than three weeks. And it changed everything. I found out a few weeks later that I was pregnant. When I told him, he wanted nothing to do with me, or a baby.
On March 5, 1991, she showed up, right on time, blue and not breathing. They rushed her out of the room with barely more than an, ‘It’s a girl!’ tossed my way. It wasn’t about me. From that very first moment she entered the world, it stopped being about me and who I thought I was and what I thought I wanted. I got to see her for the first time about an hour later. They brought her in and I saw a tiny perfect person and I knew who I was – I was her mom.