Starfish kicks as Jean eats her last bite.
This is one of those realities I never thought of, one of those realities I never thought I’d write about, be a part of, think of even.
I am spending a day with Jean, the soon-to-be mother of 20 who is already living a life. She touches her belly and feels him kicking, swimming like a little, playful fish.
It’s one of those realities that I could never handle, and yet envy, just a bit.
Jean is like an older sister who teaches me things my own sister wouldn’t. She has seen more of this world, more of its realities, its dramas and accidents. She has lived the American way, leaving her family and her California home, going after her dreams, falling in love, achieving more than one could ask of a girl so young.
I am like a lost puppy around her. I have the wrong reactions, the wrong answers. Sometimes, I have no answers. Sometimes, I don’t even make sense.
Starfish is a reality that I cannot envy. Motherhood is one I will always envy. Motherhood is a reality many mothers escape. Motherhood is powerful; it’s more than an idea. It’s unexplainable. It’s Jean loving Starfish already as he moves in her belly. It’s loving the thing inside of you, your other, your own. It’s loving all of yourself and all of Starfish and all of what makes the two of them you. It’s complicated.
I wonder what it’s like to be Jean. To have the power to walk away from everything that wasn’t real before. I wonder what it’s like to feel another heartbeat. I wonder what it’s like to love Starfish, sing for him, name him, call him and have him call you Mommy.
Maybe I envy because I see Jean and she looks ready. Maybe I envy her fearlessness as I hide in cowardice.
You can’t get more real than Starfish. You can’t get more real than a baby you may name Noah. You can’t get more real than a sonogram, a heartbeat, little toes and feet.
I part from Jean and her Starfish. At home, I make myself a cup of tea, turn up my music, and that’s reality for me…

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