My Daughter Has Kept Me Waiting…For Forty Years

From conception to the present, motherhood is an exercise in radical patience that has challenged me to my core

Martha Manning, Ph.D.
Age of Empathy

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An infant sleeps
Photo by Taksh on Unsplash

Confirmation

With the first drops on that magic wand, I waited out the interminable minutes that would confirm my daughter’s existence. The watching, the waiting, the pacing for the eternity of ten minutes seemed like a small, temporary price to pay for such a momentous event. With the plus sign, my daughter and I embarked upon an unanticipated, and often crazy-making journey towards each other.

As I passed the time with my pregnancy stick, it never occurred to me that I had just hopped a slow bumpy bus on a zig-zagging cross-country trip that would last for the rest of my life.

Now, forty years later, I understand that being a mother is less about the doing as it is about the waiting.

Complicating this is the fact that I was born with a terminal case of “ants in my pants.” Stillness is an anathema. I squirm, I tap, I do anything that helps distract me from the fact that time moves entirely too slowly. I have actually tried to return several clocks because their hands seemed to drag.

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Martha Manning, Ph.D.
Age of Empathy

Dr. Martha Manning is a writer and clinical psychologist, author of Undercurrents and Chasing Grace. Depression sufferer. Mother. Growing older under protest.