Let me make something completely clear: I am a tomboy. I have always been a tomboy. I didn’t have many girlfriends as a child because I preferred to be with the boys on my block. In fact, if Michael or Andy is out there somewhere reading this, I am pretty sure you will admit that you didn’t even know I was a girl until you saw me in an occasional dress. It was those moments when you looked at me like you’d never seen me before. In fact, I was typically covered in mud on my dirt bike, so I can see how the pink ribbon in my hair threw you off a bit.
In high school, I preferred soccer and throwing javelin to field hockey or cheer leading. Don’t get me wrong, I always envied those girls a little bit. They always seemed to look so perfect and know how to wear make-up and dress right. I tried to look like a girl form time to time, but usually ended up in t-shirts and jeans, no make-up, and pretty plain hair. I had crushes on boys in school, but never knew how to talk to them like a girl. It was easier to just be their pal and hang out with them platonically.
When I got to college, my sister had her first child. I had always been closer to my dad and brother and didn’t pay much attention to my sister’s pregnancy. I never really thought of myself as someone who would have kids, so I didn’t think it was important to know what pregnancy was like or what to expect. On the day my nephew entered this world, however, I held him in my arms and felt a love I had never experienced before. I felt like it was a new day and a new world. I knew at that moment that I needed to figure boys out, get married, and have kids. How I would ever handle the pregnancy part, however, was still mind boggling to me.
As I got older, I traveled to Kenya, India, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala. I saw thousands of children in my journeys who had no parents. I quickly found a solution: I could still have that love of a child, but I didn’t have to do the pregnancy part. I could adopt children and live happily ever after. This was so perfect because the thought of an actual baby coming out of my body seemed about as unreal to me as an alien sprouting from my belly button. To top it off, the longer I stayed single, the more I enjoyed it. I never felt that push to have to get married. Adoption would for me be perfection.
Not only was this pregnancy a surprise and so far from my plan for my life, it felt foreign to me. What a bizarre thing to have a little critter with arms and legs floating around inside me. For my first trimester, I stopped running. I thought maybe the baby would get lost because I was bouncing around so much. Then, I stopped doing squats because I was worried that the baby would simply fall out. The things that go through my mind are so strange and ridiculous. Still, no matter how clueless I am or how much of a tomboy I feel like on the inside, I still get the sense that I was meant to do this. I have never felt so much like a woman as I do now. That sense of protection, love, patience, and peace are what it is to be a mother. It doesn’t matter if I would prefer to be in jeans and covered in mud, I am still a woman and am blessed with the most amazing experience that only woman can have.