A Plea

Naomi Hartman Gerheim Relationships

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I sent out a plea. A plea for words, for wisdom, for advice of some sort. I was told to write my own.

I have three men in my life. Two of them have been there for what sometimes feels like all of my life but certainly all of theirs. We have spent sleepless nights, cried millions of tears, paced miles of floors. I live for them, I breathe for them, I sling hash for them. They are my sons. They are beautiful, brilliant and boisterous. They’ve made me laugh, weep, sing and bleed. I love them. They are the stuff of life.

The third is a new addition to all of our lives. He is sweet, silly and sexy. He makes me laugh, has made me weep, makes me sing and makes me dream. He supports and encourages me. I love him. The dreams I have are of the family we could be.

When I was 7, 12, 16, 20, there was one constant. The dream of my future, while ever changing, rotated on the axis of marriage and children. Now I am 31, a single mother who lives with my parents. The man I love, when he was 7, 12, 16 and 20 never saw life much beyond prep school, then the Ivy League. He had those and gave them up to move West and pursue a new dream.

So here we are. I love a man who I can see a future with, and he loves a woman who is part of a package deal he never imagined wanting. He asked me if I could put into words what it is that drives billions of people to continue to do something as crazy as have children. They are expensive, frustrating, time-consuming. Do the good moments weigh more than the bad? He asked me to fill in the blanks. He asked for words to define that breathless moment when I first felt a stir in my belly, when I first laid eyes on the human I created. How somehow amidst the drudgery that so often accompanies parenthood we are able to say with absolute certainty, “I love this. It’s all worth it. This is my life, and that is amazing.” He thinks he’s crazy. He doesn’t understand why he has never felt the urge to reproduce. But I couldn’t give him the words. Why is it worth it?  Because it just is. Because that little punk throwing a fit in the corner is my reason for getting up in the morning? Because he’s mine. I built that little punk.

I am terrified that if I can’t find the words for what to me, is wordless, I will lose this man.

I tried to explain that if everyone waited until they were certain, this world would be far less populated. That any parent who claims to not be scared out of their wits daily is a liar or a fool. That dealing with children is a ride on the most terrifying roller coaster imaginable, full of highs and lows, moments of panic, of sickness, times of coasting, times where you aren’t certain which way is up. And all we can do is strap in, hold on for dear life and enjoy the ride. We as mothers just know this, like we know that we need to breathe and eat to live. But how do I explain it to someone who has never felt the desire to have what was never even an option for me to be without? This is my plea. Do these words exist?

About the Author

Naomi Hartman Gerheim

Naomi is a Montana girl raising two Montana sons with a Texas boy. Trying to decide what she wants to be when she grows up, while trying to make sure those two sons grow up to value what is good, true, and fun.

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