I just read through eight years of blog posts about Mother's Day*. I stopped keeping a diary in college. Maybe that's why blogging has such an appeal to me. I write and know it's going to be read. Going through eight years of highs and lows of marking this day was tough. Some years I wrote a lot. Oddly last year I didn't write a damn thing on Mother's Day because I was so damn busy.
The past month has seen me give no less than three interviews about my feminism and how it came to be. Those who know me, know it means talking about my mother and maternal grandmother. Each interview helped me rediscover a bit about my past than I would have ever expected.
My maternal grandmother was heart broken that I didn't heed her advice to go to college and THEN find a boyfriend. Instead I found a boyfriend and then we both went off to college together. I think it turned out pretty well. We have a daughter and will celebrate 12 years of marriage on Mother's Day. But during interview #1, I was literally dumbstruck by the fact that while I disappointed my grandmother and she didn't live to see my husband & I get married, not to mention missing out on the kid, she would be freaking ecstatic over how egalitarian my marriage is and how hands-on Senor Feminista is as a father. Yeah, I think she'd be happy with the outcome.
I've told this story to just about everyone who has ever asked me about how I knew I was pro-choice: My mom raised me that way. As I told Chloe, the earliest memory I have of my mom instilling in me a sense of ownership over my body was when I was about 12 and she told me we didn't go to church because the Pope wouldn't let her take birth control pills. During interview #2 it dawned on me how much my mom knew me. She didn't have to explain birth control pills at that moment. We never had "the talk," but she was open with her pro-choice views. I know, odd. Then there were the times when she would comment about abortion and making it clear that she was pro-choice, but never explaining what abortion was. She just knew I knew. I think I was a senior in high school, maybe freshmen in college, she took me to view a documentary on midwives at her friend's house (who was my midwife) and it dealt with pregnancy, birthing, abortion...the whole enchilada. She sat back and watched me explain why I supported abortion rights to one of my dad's sister's during a camping trip. I remember my aunt was reading a USA Today about abortion and I responded with my thoughts. She taught me about reproductive justice without a heavy hand. She wasn't perfect. We had thrown downs about welfare and what constituted luxuries in the USA.
I've also recounted to a few interviewers over the years that I have the perfect response to anti's who ask me, "What if your mom was pro-choice?" She was and she chose me. I know this because I asked her when I was in high school, why at 18 she would have a baby in a country where it was legal to terminate a pregnancy. "I wanted you. It's that simple."
And that sums up why I am so vehemently pro-choice. Why every child must be a wanted child. I wish that every person could ask their mom why and hear that answer. "I wanted you." Because that is the conversation I will cherish, that I will remember the most. I was wanted.**
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
* 2004-2007 are from my old blog. I might repost them here in the future.
** If my mom lied to me about this, this was the best lie she ever told me as she didn't hesitate or flinch.