Recap: Things are moving fast! Zani and Jake have decided where to birth Brandon – yes, that is Baby’s name! – and have signed up for antenatal classes. Zani is in charge of Decorating the Baby Room, which means scanning thousands of beautiful full-colour pictures of nursery makeovers …
Being pregnant is such a special time to bond and relive your own humble beginnings. It would have been nice to share it with my own mom, but Mom is still caught up in her own life, reliving her own youth, and has made it clear that the prospect of a baby makes her feel old – she isn’t ready to be a granny, she told me.
Yes, it was sad for me to hear that, but then she wasn’t ready to be a mommy thirty-odd years ago either. Between Jake and Vee, they have taught me not to judge my mom, but to accept that she has always traded on her looks to find a man to take care of her, or to get a job, or to take her on an exotic island holiday. She also manipulates men and plays on their fantasies, especially when a current affair is developing into ‘a relationship’ – something she considers too much like hard work and boring. She wants fun and excitement to last a lifetime, and although I know she has done the best she could, there can be no escaping the fact that her choices and decisions have left me practically motherless and with a huge hole in my heart.
This isn’t how things should have been. I should have had a mom who was soft and had a lap and arms that you could just sink into. A mom who’s like a safe harbour when the winds and waves of life have battered you about and you need to feel loved and cherished unconditionally. A mom who makes loads of nourishing food and doesn’t count the kilojoules. A mom who doesn’t flirt with your boyfriend.
Without an appropriate role model, I often felt confused and even guilty when I wanted Mom to be a mom who showered me with love and attention instead of demanding all the attention for herself. I often wondered if I was just envious or begrudged Mom for her flawless (albeit very expensive) looks. But with time I started to realise that all I really needed was for Mom to be a mom so that I could be free to feel sexy and feminine and the one who drew the attention of the strongest, smartest and most handsome man. As long as Mom was cast in that role, I would remain Cinderella hidden in the back room … or at least that’s how it felt then.
Being thirty(ish) has made it easier for me to transform Cinderella into a confident and happy woman. Hogwash! Naturally the transformation was easy once Prince Jake Charming rocked up and swept me off my feet!
My thoughts come wandering back to my relationship with Vee, the woman I jokingly introduced to the caregivers as my foster mom. Only now do I realise that that is exactly what she has become. I’m not sure how I would’ve managed in those early months without Vee, her warm and generous heart, her gentle touch and her willingness to listen – and dispense advice.