Most of my friends are nonparents, I don’t really fit in with the “mom groups,” and those stick-figure-family car decals drive me nuts.
That said, I still appreciate the mom-to-mom connection. And sometimes a mom just needs to hear that she’s not the only one who has cried during Bambi, or let two weeks go by before realizing her child had a broken arm, or used the iPad as an all-day babysitter.
After all, no one can quite relate to a mother better than another mother. And since this town is swarming with moms, I suppose it’s time for me to start relating. Last week, I was lucky enough to get a little glimpse into the life of Holly—a program manager for Bend’s Volunteer Connect, a breast cancer survivor and an all-around rock star of a mom. From diaper changes to high school orientations, I think it’s safe to say this stay-at-home mama has her hands full.
The kiddos? Olivia is Holly’s 15-year-old stepdaughter (and prototypical teenager), and Skye is her well-mannered, two-year-old son, who (lucky for me) napped long enough for Holly to answer some of my random questions…
Taylor: Did you always know you’d be a mom?
Holly: I always wanted to but wasn’t sure it was going to happen. I became a stepmom almost nine years ago, and I’m lucky that it has been such a stellar experience for me. But just as we were planning to have another kid, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After lots of fertility docs, hormones, money and heartbreak, I became pregnant with Skye.
T: Will you tell him that the stork was responsible?
H: Nope, I’m way too much of a scientist for that.
T: How does he most resemble you?
H: He’s friendly and easygoing.
T: Would it have been easier if he’d been a girl?
H: As a house full of women, we are loving this kid’s boy energy. He arrived into the world fired up about backhoe loaders, cranes, dump trucks and street sweepers.
T: Why has Bend been the best place to raise him so far?
H: Having had a bilateral mastectomy for breast cancer, I wasn’t able to nurse. For over a year, more than two dozen local mamas provided breast milk for my kiddo—nurturing him, helping him grow and giving him a great healthy start. Having the immune system of all these moms, the kid barely had a runny nose all year.
T: So what makes you super mom?
T: And mean mommy?
H: The never-ending stream of dirt that comes into the house with the tractor, bulldozer, lawnmower, etc.
T: What makes you cry (that probably wouldn’t have, pre-motherhood)?
H: Post-cancer, I can get a little panicky about not being around to see all the first days of school, sports games, graduations, weddings or grandchildren.
T: Organic food/healthy living or McDonald’s/don’t give a damn?
H: Mostly healthy around here—organic this-and-that, tofu, brown rice, you get the picture… But the freezer is loaded with ice cream.
T: Favorite Bend park?
H: The Boat Park—There are always other kids and parents there, and it’s on the river, which always makes me glad that I live in Bend.
T: Favorite outdoor activities here?
H: Camping at Elk Lake (endless rocks for throwing, milk shakes and Saturday night music), swimming at Shevlin Park and hiking the river trail.