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Editor's Note: On Motherhood

Out here celebrating moms in May, y’all.

A mom: You have one.

You might have never met her. Or you might not really like her. Or your entire world might revolve around her. But, biologically speaking, at least, you have a mom.

There’s a picture on our website next to a quote of mine. It’s a bit of an inside joke around here that it’s actually a photo of me—or at least what I look like. It’s not (yet, anyhow—I’ll probably look about that age sooner than later). But it kinda does look like Sigmund Freud, so bear with me as I paraphrase: Your relationship with your parents is no doubt hella complicated.

And we have lots of evocative, heartfelt narratives on The Doe that deal with just that. This month, we even released a Motherhood curation, to which we will continue to add. We hope you enjoy stories that include everything from supporting a family with drug running to growing up with a mom who is a hoarder.

Now, I’d like to share two stories on the subject at hand.

My mother was born in Cleveland in 1951 and moved to Denver for college. That’s where she met my dad, and they settled down in Colorado and had me, their only child.

Penny Dempsey St. John is one of the strongest, smartest and most generous people I’ve ever met. It was just her and me there for much of my life, after my parents divorced. I love my mom dearly and feel so lucky to have her in my life still.

The pandemic has been hell for trying to be around my parents. I don’t want to get them sick and vice versa. The other day, it was Mother’s Day, one fraught with complications. My dad was sick. My wife had COVID. How could we even see each other?

But I tested negative, and we decided we’d make something work. So we sat in a beer garden and had lunch outside, in the sun. We talked about baseball, her dog and the summer. It was just her and me, as it was for so many years. I hope I always remember that day.

The other mother in my life is of the to-be sort. My wife, Brielle, is pregnant. And I’m terrified.

She is not, though, and already displays a motherly instinct that keeps me from losing my mind. She will be a great mom. I know it.

But there’s all this crap in the apartment now. When you are going to have a baby shower (Brielle’s got canceled because of COVID), people buy you things, lots of things. One item we don’t have so far is a bassinet. Well, being an only child without nieces and nephews in my bloodline…

Me: “What’s a bassinet?”

Brielle: “Oh no, what did I get myself into?”

So, yeah, all the love in the world to the mothers out there for dealing with sons and husbands like me. We love you.


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