My mother and I had a close relationship during my early childhood. I remember being the best of buds. We read, watched television, did crafts, cooked, and cleaned together. She let me watch I Love Lucy while I ate dinner and some educational program every morning while she combed my hair for school. The best routine was stopping by Jack in the Box every morning for a Breakfast Jack before she dropped me off at daycare.
Somewhere around 12 or 13, it went awry. There are a lot of things that contributed to the divide and I may discuss them another time. Not today, because I’m just setting the stage to tell you why I vowed never to have a girl child. I’d decided this at an early age. I wanted a lot of kids but all boys. Even told my husband the nonsense plan I had and he did not think anything of it. So, I figured since I’d said it, I would get it – a house full of boys.
So, it started out well. We had a boy for the first child. Whew-wee, I was ecstatic. He was the cutest and fattest baby. And a good baby, too. Feed him, clean him, play with him, and he was good to go. So, when the three of us (husband, son, and myself) went to the sonogram for the second pregnancy, I never considered the baby would be anything but another cute and fat boy. My husband did not want to know the sex of the child so he and my son went to the parking lot when it was time to reveal the sex. The doctor jovially said, “You got a girl this time!” Cognitively, I knew he’d said all of the right things – she’s healthy, she’s small so you can deliver her vaginally, she’s active. But all I could think was about my relationship with my mother during my teen and early adult years. Very little occurred during those years to assure me that I would get along with a girl and be able to parent a girl. So, emotionally, I was a total mess on the inside.
I finalized the business surrounding my appointment in a daze. They never had a clue that although I was signing the documents in the correct location and paying my bill as instructed, that on the inside I was screaming and tantrumming like a 3 year old. I walked to my husband and son trying to hold it together but my husband knew something was wrong. I told him I had to tell him about the baby so he thought it was a disease or something. When I yelled through a wall of tears “IT’S A GIRL!” he looked at me like “What in the heck is wrong with you (he doesn’t curse)?” Oh, I felt so guilty for feeling like I did. But I was scared that I would fail that baby in my stomach. I’d had no problem with my son. But I honestly did not think I could do it with a little girl.
She’s 14 now and my bestest friend in the world (she doesn’t know it). Why do I love her?
1) She’s created an avenue for me to forgive my mama.
2) She’s shown me that it is okay to waste time walking in the field taking pictures of ladybugs.
3) She’s reminded me of how much of a flower child I was before the stuff hit the fan in my childhood home.
4) She likes to snuggle and hug.
5) She doesn’t care about make-up, curls, or heels (as I was so into at 14 years old).
6) She’s not perfect and she doesn’t care!
I am not the best mama of a girl. I’m the best mama for Lil Gal and she’s the best daughter for me. I thank God for hearing my prayer when I held her as infant. I was so scared for her – not for me. I knew she deserved so much and I figured I”d do what I’d been doing up to that point in my adult life – choose peace. In raising her, I’d choose peace. It’s worked so far.