To my Daughter..

20 years ago today, 7/11/95, my life was forever changed. I became a mother. Daughter saved my life. Literally. I was on a very self destructive path when I was 18, homeless and aimless.

I found out I was pregnant completely by accident. Because I was living on the street then every day was consumed by figuring out a few questions.. Where would I sleep that night? Would I get to eat that day?

I began to learn where the best shelters were..who served good meals, had clean shower, comfortable beds, who gave out toiletries, had lockers for us to use so we didn’t have to carry everything we owned on our bacck each day and who just generally treated us like human beings. Of course the flip side of that was learning where to avoid..bitchy staff, filthy bathrooms, and thieving fellow clientele. One place I learned to sleep with my shoes in my pillowcase because it was common practice for other women to go around at night and steal shoes right off your feet.

With all of that on my mind every day it was no surprise that I didn’t realize I was late. It was actually my best friend J’s pregnancy scare that helped me get a clue. We were on the street together and she was starting to be afraid she was pregnant. We knew a walk-in clinic that gave free pregnancy tests. J was really intimidated by the clinic staff though, so she talked me in to asking for a test at the same time.

By now you’ve probably figured it out. J wasn’t pregnant. I was.

I remember sitting in the office, completely dumbfounded, thinking,”Ok Maria.. you’ve got to get it together. You might not give a shit about you, but this baby didn’t do anything wrong and for the next nine months you’re all this baby has so you’ve got to figure something out.”

That day, in the back room of a walk-in clinic in Cambridge, was the beginning of changing my life. I had no idea then what I was going to do after safely delivering the baby, just that I had to keep the baby safe TILL delivery..

Of course what happened among many other things, is that I fell in love with her. I am the far from a perfect mom but my kids are beautiful and amazing. I count myself blessed everyday that I am a part of their lives. Today Daughter is 20, working her way into the nursing program at BCC, also has a steady job, her own car and a boyfriend headed in to the Army. (:-( mixed feels on that in another post!)

Today I am thankful to be a mom!

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