05/09/2012 10:46 am ET Updated Jul 09, 2012

My Mother, Myself

When my son was much younger and deep in the throes of a textbook Oedipal Complex, he looked at me with all sincerity and said, "Mom, why did you marry Dad? Why didn't you wait for me?" I explained as best as I could, but it didn't really matter what I said. I was the love of his life and in his 6-year-old brain (and heart), you marry the love of your life. Simple as that.

What his little self (and my big self) didn't realize was that, in a way, I had been waiting for him my whole life, only neither one of us knew that. I was never the young girl who dreamed of getting married and having lots of kids. I wasn't even the young adult who thought that way. Children were a definite "maybe" for me and didn't necessarily hold a high position on my life's to-do list. I went to college, built a career (or two), bought an apartment, dated, married and lived my life, all without the urge to bring children into the picture. I always liked kids, but never really imagined a brood of my own.

But looking back now, I realize my ability and desire to be a mother were growing all along. And that is thanks, of course, to my own mother. She modeled for me everything a mother should be. She was, and still is today, my teacher, my confidante and my biggest supporter. When I finally did decide to become a mother myself, there was a suspicious test result early on in my pregnancy. She listened to my concerns, asked a lot of questions, and then... took me shopping. She bought me maternity clothes that both fit my growing body and eased my worried mind. Those clothes were a vote of confidence that everything was going to be okay. And thankfully, everything was.

Being a mother is probably the hardest thing I've ever done, and yet, doing it comes naturally because I had such a good role model. It's not a path I thought I would necessarily take, but now that I'm on it, I am certainly finding my way. And if I stumble, I can always call the person who helped make me the mother that I am today. She gives me what children want most: her time. She is always there to listen, to laugh, to advise.

So yes, my delicious son, I did wait for you in a way. I waited until I found the right person with whom to share my life. I waited until I was ready to accept the responsibility and wonder that is motherhood. I waited until my maternal instincts were screaming to be utilized. I waited until I couldn't wait anymore. And then there was you. And if I'm half the mom to you that my mother was to me, then we're in very good shape.