16 years out… what’s it like now?
My kid has been accepted to Stanford once again for summer school. Of course, we are incredibly proud of him and his accomplishments. No one and I mean no one could have prepared me for all of this when I was embarking upon this journey almost 18 years ago. I was so worried back then about my child accepting me as his mother. I was so worried about other people accepting my child for who he was, and me not sharing genetics with him as his mother. If anyone were to have told me back then that I would be signing permission slips, writing checks, and helping my son create a packing list for summer school at a university so far away I would’ve laughed myself silly.
But here we are, my husband and I, preparing our kid for a summer of a lifetime. He is so incredibly excited, and not worried at all about being away from home. We went through all of that stuff last year – I was a basket case as I safely delivered my son to that huge campus, turning him over to complete strangers I had never met, trusting that they would care for him, and look out for him like I do. It was the longest summer session of my life – and if you ask my son he will tell you it went by in the blink of an eye.
And that’s how it’s supposed to be. We as parents are supposed to work our asses off, making huge sacrifices, being inconvenienced, worrying, worrying, and worrying about the safety and welfare of our children. Working hard to give them a better life then we had when we were kids, wanting them to be happy, wanting them to thrive, wanting them to succeed and grow up to be good humans, good stewards of the earth – and just good people.
Well, we sure did. We now have this kid who is bright, articulate, well-balanced, kind – so very kind, and just so excited to get the heck out of dodge, fly to another state and go to summer school at a very big university.
What does all of this have to do with Egg Donation? Absolutely nothing. Repeat after me – absolutely nothing.
The Egg Donation part is the precursor to the real work. I can remember fretting, fussing, and worrying about every little detail of my egg donor cycle. I worried about so many things I could not control. I worried about the pregnancy. I worried about the delivery. Once my son was here the real work again and all of this “stuff” that is floating around the perimeter, you know that superfluous stuff- well I got news for you, when you begin to parent it just doesn’t matter anymore, you’re too busy raising a child to give any of that any thought.
Parenting is the great equalizer of all things. The worry doesn’t change just because you’ve had a child via Egg Donation. The changing of the diapers, the colic, the teething, the diarrhea, the earaches, the potty training, and the list goes on and on – all of this happens regardless of how you have a child. Having a child through Egg Donation or embryo donation doesn’t make any of the stuff occur any differently.
And so it goes with the rest of parenting. We are all in the trenches together schlepping our children to and from school, to different sports activities, to their friends houses, and if our kids participate in any sort of extracurricular stuff like Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts we get roped into all that stuff for their for their fulfillment. Egg Donation has nothing to do with that – having a kid via egg donation is not going to change the experience of the hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout cookies that you get sucked into buying, selling and eating for your kid so she can be the top Girl Scout cookie seller in her troop. Or the many Christmas wreathes, cookie dough, or flag subscriptions for the Boy Scouts.
Before you know it, middle school has come and gone replaced with high school and all of the teenage angst that goes with. And then one day you begin the quest of looking at colleges and universities for your child, preparing yourself and him or her for the day that you will be taking them to begin the next phase of their life, without you. And that my friend, has nothing to do with Egg Donation. Zero. It’s just a fact of life that all parents go through and experience.
So I will admit that at 16 1/2 I still quietly step into his room at night, adjust his covers, smooth his forehead, and kiss his cheek while he sleeps wondering where the past 16 1/2 years have gone. I wonder if another woman will love him as much as I do, and who will worry about and look out for his best interests like I do. Or will know that he loves chocolate chip cookies but hates tapioca pudding like I do. Or know that until he’s had a cup of espresso in the morning the less words the better like I do. I wonder when he leaves for the last time from ahome to move into his new home, and begin a new adventure, and his adult life, who will keep him safe when his dad and I are not around. Who will take care of him when he is ill? or has a headache? Who is going to remind him of all those things that he forgets.
This is all what parents do and what parenting is about – and that has nothing to do with Egg Donation.