When Things Go Wrong in the Best Possible Way: Motherhood

My plan was simple. I was going to become a photographer for National Geographic, travel the world, have great affairs. Finally, at 40-years-old, I would have a daughter with my most clever lover.

That didn't happen.

Instead, I married my high school sweetheart and had my daughter when I just 22. We moved back to a suburb outside of Olympia, Washington where I took a job as a secretary and grew increasingly depressed with my unremarkable trajectory with each inch of expanded belly.

Then my daughter was born. Instant alchemy.

Just a single week of holding her in my arms and the understanding that I am the most powerful force in her life sunk into my consciousness. All kinds of glorious revelations flowed forth.

What kind of life do I want for my daughter? I want her to live her dreams, to bravely pursue her passions and interests freely.

If I am the most powerful force in her life, and the best example she has of a life a woman can lead, I must live to my fullest capacity.

I started doing the things that I would want my daughter to do. I admitted my greatest dream. (To, gulp, be a writer!) I re-enrolled in a four-year college and majored in writing, career opportunities be damned. The very month I graduated, I moved my little family overseas to live in Japan. If travel was what I wanted, then no excuse should keep me from packing my bags and boarding the plane.

I don't expect her to do exactly as I have done. I expect her to do exactly as she wants to do.

When I was pregnant, pitifully employed and ghosting the same strip malls of my youth, despair oozed my from very being. How lucky that her arrival gave my life the driving meaning I required to kick-start my own adventure-filled life.

She's twelve now, and the most amazing person I've ever met. We're in Mexico where I spend my mornings completing the revisions of my novel, and our afternoons exploring together. When I think back to that simple plan I constructed when I was 16, I laugh. How little it was. How much bigger and better this life has become.

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10 years ago

I love you, Kels. You are the coolest mom ever.

Colin Macduff

10 years ago



10 years ago

As a mom I relate to this post in a very positive way. I have a son and a daughter and have learned much from both, from having both. With my daughter I feel as you do. I want her to do what she wants and dreams to do with her life. I feel that with my son as well. Most people think its easier for men to live their dreams, because they're men. But it isn't. It's just as hard, and just as easy to encourage them to live their lives as they see fit. Very lovely post. Thanks for sharing and I love the photo! Don't know if you're participating but I'm doing the #atozchallenge2014 ( http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ ), and I'm a member of the IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/ ), if you care to look either of these up!

Karen Lynne Klink

10 years ago

Thanks for following me on Twitter. I came so close to being you when I was in college, but went the other direction—no child. Didn't get the writing bug until my early 60s, though I have been writing and editing nonfiction most of my life.

As to your story opening, I like the first line of the first opening best. It grabs the reader, leaves one wondering and wanting more. I suggest you join Critique Circle on line for more help. It's a wonderful place to submit your work, get critiques and learn more about writing fiction along the way. #MyWANA (We Are Not Alone) is another great place to hang out and get the support of other writers.