Mother's Day is a week from today, and already much on the mind of journalist Daryn Kagan:
I think about her every day. We are forever linked through one of the best jobs of my life. She is my daughter's other mother.
I came to motherhood through a side door. Long after I'd given up the dream of getting married or becoming a mom, I met a single dad who was raising his young daughter alone, after his first wife had passed away.
She was eight years old when her mom died, and 11 when we met.
After a couple of years of dating, her dad and I got married, and a few months later we completed our adoption.
There have never been any step, half, sorta-kinda qualifiers in our family. No, I have been a lunch-making, laundry-folding, carpool-driving full-time mom.
I joke about the drudgery, but I know how lucky I am. Bittersweet-twist lucky.
Because of my daughter's first mother, her loss, the loss of her young life, ends up being my gain.
When my husband tells our daughter, "You get that trait from Mom," she lights up with pride. We all know who he's talking about. And it's not me.
I'm fine with this.
My motherhood bucket already overflows with so much more than I thought I'd get to experience. I was the one who got to tuck her in at night. To talk about boys. To shop for her dress for the school dance.
That was my lap she sat in the first time I let her steer a car down our quiet street.
I was the one who got to share the giggle when her school bus driver told her she looked more like me than her dad.
Actually, we look nothing alike. I have a dark complexion; she has eyes so blue someone once told her they look like two deep swimming pools.
The truth is, with each passing day, she looks more and more like the beautiful young woman in the photo that I see in her bedroom.
That was the first photo I hung when we moved in together all those years ago.
I told my daughter, "Your mom will forever be one of my best friends simply because she made you."
That photo now hangs in her dorm room. .
In August my husband and I took our daughter to college. And I was the mom who got to experience that day.
And so I find myself thinking about my daughter's first mother realizing no Mother's Day is ever promised to us.
If I could send my daughter's first mother a card, I would write, "Thank you for sharing this incredible journey with me. Together we have raised one awesome girl!"
For more info:
- "Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor's Thoughts on Losing Her Job, Finding Love, a New Career, and My Dog, Always My Dog" by Daryn Kagan (Tree Swan), available via Amazon
- Follow @DarynKagan on Twitter