I am the proud mother of two adorable children (not really "children" now, I have a 20 year old girl and a 13 year old boy). Yes, I know, everyone thinks their children are adorable (most of the time), but for me, my two children bring out the best and sometimes the worst in me and each other. Anyway you look at I am a better and stronger person for having them in my life. I pretty much did the whole, dating, marriage, children thing backwards. Just a quick footnote: ask anyone and they will tell you that I am too independent & sometimes it can be to my detriment. Back to the backwards thing. Both of my children were born out of wedlock with different fathers, but more importantly they were born out of Love! Each of my children and their arrivals into my world brought unique and unforgettable moments of sheer joy and fear. I learned many things from these two relationships that the children arrived from. I learned that even at the age of 25 I really didn't know squat about anything, well almost anything. I was a Nanny in Connecticut, in my 4th year for the same family. I had just started dating someone, literally JUST started dating someone, when there were suddenly two pink lines on that pee stick. What I did have going for me, is that I had already helped raise two kids for four years, so I had some knowledge of babies etc. Of course, I didn't have the "means" to raise her like they did, but I had the basics and that was already conceived unconditional love for my child, and that is what mattered the most. Long story, short...her "father" went into hiding when I told him I was pregnant, but he came around when she was born, but I had to move back to my hometown in Nebraska when she turned one. I didn't have the support network in NY to raise a child practically alone. Fast forward 5 years. I fell head over heels for a security guard that was working at the hospital I was working at in 1994. Despite my best friend's warnings and other "red flags" that I chose to ignore, he did manage to break my heart quite a few times, for a straight 8 years, right up until the day he took his last breath, July 4th, 2002, and even now. Out of that relationship was a lot of heartbreak, but also the birth of a wonderful son. We really wanted our son, he was a "planned" pregnancy. On December 3, 1996 he was born. But despite the fact that my son was "planned" what I didn't plan on was not being "with" his father during that time. If you look at my favorite quote you will see "don't make someone a priority in your life when you are just an "option" in his life" - wish I knew that back then. Even though we weren't "together" we were "together" when it came to our son. He even had the foresight in the last few weeks of his life to ask me not to bring our son to the hospital to see him, or go to his funeral because he did not want that to be our son's last memory of his dad. I didn't understand at first, but I do now. My son only remembers the way he looked before the cancer took away everything and that's a memory we can both live with.