I was an accident.
I don’t mean that in a really dramatic, “I wasn’t wanted!” Lifetime movie way but just as a simple fact: I was an accident. My mom once drunkenly confirmed this after my parents got divorced.
“So you just told me you had wanted to divorce dad since early in your marriage. Why did you have me then?” I said to her as her glazed-over eyes swirled.
“Well, you weren’t planned. I wanted you, I wanted a baby but I was all set to leave,” she slurred. “It just never worked with your father, we weren’t a good match.”
She then tried to tell me about her apparently nonexistent sex life with my father but I stopped her before my therapy bill became astronomically high.
What happened was that my parents were married for about four years during which things just weren’t really working out. As they were about to hit their fourth wedding anniversary in early 1986, they decided to go on a final trip to see if they could work out their problems. They went to North Carolina and stayed in a bed and breakfast in the Blue Ridge Mountains; unlike me and my dad, my mother is not one to rough it. After a long weekend which apparently involved some kind of sex or something strange and immaculate, they left for Florida, having come to the resolution that they weren’t meant for each other and they were going to get a divorce.
My mom started packing up some things and she told my grandparents about the end of her marriage which pissed them off to no end. They were traditional and at that time, nowhere close to open to something like divorce. Regardless of this reaction, she continued going about her business of getting divorced. After a few weeks, she went to go see the lawyer she had hired to handle her side of the divorce. While going over paperwork relating to assets, my mom very suddenly has to vomit and ducked into a nearby wastebasket. The lawyer looked at her curiously.
“I bet you’re pregnant.” The lawyer smirked while looking nauseated at the vomit in her formerly paper-only trashcan.
“That’s ridiculous, you have to have sex to get pregnant,” my mom replied, quoting what sounds like every romantic comedy about a pregnant woman ever.
“I’m just saying, make sure.”
“It’s probably something I ate.”
Leaving calmly, she freaked out as soon as she got home and made a doctor’s appointment for the next day. She was indeed pregnant. She told my grandmother and said that she wanted to continue with the divorce, that she wanted to raise me alone. My grandmother did not react well to this bit of information and threatened to not be involved in her life if she didn’t give this mystery baby a proper home. Head hanging, my mom went home to tell my dad, who had been sleeping in the den, that she was pregnant.
My dad who was older at this time, almost forty, was over the moon that he was going to be a father. They decided that the universe had taken the decision of ending their marriage out of their hands and so it was. My mom had an uneventful pregnancy with me where she drank a whole gallon of milk every three days; a few months later, I arrived late and healthy, feet first under a balsamic moon.
My parents remained married for 15 years after I was born. 15 years. They really made a go of it and even though I knew since I was little that they didn’t love each other how my grandparents did or how people did in movies, they cared for each other greatly. They never fought in front of me and until my mom told me one day after school during my freshman year of high school that they were getting divorced, I would have thought that they would just stay content to be sort of in like with each other for the rest of their lives.
It’s weird how things work out. I was my mom’s first and only successful pregnancy. She miscarried something like, three times after I was born, some late in the pregnancy. I remember her being pregnant when I was little and then nothing. Every Christmas, I would ask for a little brother or sister and I would always begin to think I was getting my wish sometime during the year but then nothing; I just thought I was being punished by Santa for never picking up my toys or something. All the pregnancies that they tried for were literally fruitless and yet, this one random instance of fornication in the mountains produced me, springing from the womb fully formed, personality intact. It’s strange.
I don’t know if I believe that everything happens for a reason but maybe I do to some extent. Things seem to click in place like puzzle pieces at times. I came to be as a bunch of cells in the place where I feel most at peace and I was christened with a name that has seemed to guide my fate in life in certain directions. I grew under the tutelage of two very different but cohesive people who have helped shape my views and opinions and tastes but left me room to seek knowledge and experiences on my own. I am my mother’s stubborn and passionate dark eyed fire and my father’s wry, gentle dreamer’s heart, filled with the haze and poetry of the mountains. It doesn’t really matter how you came to be though, planned with the help of doctors or entirely accidental in a serendipitous way. You will be the product of many things and how you came to exist at this exact moment matters little in the long run. If you weren’t wanted, not even by your parents, someone will want you and at the very least, the universe wanted you and here you are.