People have strong attitudes and opinions about me being a mom. It’s a thing of nature versus nurture and I am a firm believer in nurture. When my children were born, they didn’t see me any differently than any other mother in the world.
Collin, my first-born came eleven weeks early and weighed only two pounds. After his birth I had maybe thought about that first’ but from the first day I changed his diaper, he lifted his legs for me. This was at two weeks old. From the time of his first diaper change to when I had to change his clothes, he adapted to his environment. When he would need to be burped or just hang out on my shoulder. He wouldn’t squirm or move or anything when I had to drive around the house with my wheelchair. He knew I didn’t have the other hand to hold onto him. His dad would do the same thing then, picking him up and taking around the house and he would be all over the place because he knew he could. It wasn’t that I had this magical inner monologue with him and could zoom in on that magical power, but that has always truly amazed me and how babies adapt. I thought it was just Collin and that he was a special breed.
Then I had Mackenzie, they are almost four years apart, and she did the exact same things as Collin with diapers and clothes and all that. The difference with Mackenzie was that she liked riding in the wheel chair so much that she didn’t walk until she was almost two. Doctors thought she was delayed. I knew she was lazy, and still is. But they adapted, and did whatever they needed to and it truly amazes me that humans can adapt that way.
My biggest fear was that my children would not accept me and want to have their friends come around and things like that. In fact all of their friends come around. At Iowa State Collin’s friends always say, “how come we don’t get to see Michelle? You need to bring your mom up here more.” Mackenzie is a senior in High School and for homecoming we had the after party at our house and all the kids were sitting in our living room and at 11:30 at night I’m like “you guys need to go elsewhere, we are not your entertainment”. But I love their relationships with their friends because I know they truly think of me as their friend’s mom not ‘dude your mom’s in a wheel chair’. They might think of that at first but that goes away very quickly.
Every mom loves to talk about her kids and in my sense of why it just shows you don’t have to settle for things people didn’t think you can do. Right after I got pregnant, I had a lot of nay-sayers asking “Are you sure you should be pregnant?” or “what happens if you have a child like yourself?” All of these questions were things I had considered but I knew I would deal with whatever circumstances I was dealt. I was raised the way I would want to raise my kids. Obviously I know I have limitations like driving a car that is not adapted for me but those aren’t things I need in order to have a happy life.