I knew you when I was 4 and first decided I was going to be a mother.
I cried when the ultrasound tech informed me my first child was going to be of the penis-variety. I was supposed to be the mother of girls. At the very least, I was supposed to have a couple of girls first.
The universe is funny that way though. Giving you what you don’t plan for and showing you how perfect it really is. (Although I admit I cried again when I learned that my 6th-born child would also be of the penis-variety. Just. Like. The. Five. Boys. Before. Him.
Don’t get me wrong having six boys is a serious blast. It’s never dull. It’s bravery and glory and puddle splashing ad slaying dragons and midnight firefly catching in mason jars and mud castles and watching earthworms wriggle and superheroes and fantasy and starrtripping and always having a dance partner for living room dance parties and having doors being held open and ladies first and 6 little gentle men to love and protect me. I have grown to love being a mother of boys with all that is within me.
But something …..another deep part of me kept longing for the relationship that only a mother and daughter can have. The one I never full had with my own mother. The one I see some of my friends have with their daughters. I heard all of the “Be thankful you don’t have girls, they are so filled up with drama and they act like bitches.” and it always made me sad that that is the relationship so many have with their own daughters. Because I knew what I was longing for would be so much more. One day, my dear friend Christina, who has a grown daughter, wrote to me and told me how wonderful, how truly wonderful raising a daughter can be She said “Don’t listen to the naysayers. Keep hoping for a girl. My daughter is my best friend.” And then another friend, another Christina, began to tell me about HER daughter, whom was younger ad so much fun with her out-loud personality and quirks and all around spectacularness. I saw my future in those two girls. My hope. And Claudia, whose daughter has blossomed from an awkward child to a more self-assured, wise-beyond-her-years young lady. And I see how much Claudia truly loves mothering her, how they are friends as well as parent and child, how she passes down her understanding of life to her every day. And Christeen, who has this amazingly powerful relationship with her oldest daughter, and shares photos online of the two of them, standing side by side, like fierce warriors with laughter and passion for life.
I wanted that for so long.
I wrote you letters before on this blog. “Dear Someday Daughter” they would begin. Because I nveer stopped believing you existed somewhere out there.
When I was pregnant with you, when I didn’t know you were my long -awaited daughter, I spoke your name aloud one night into the silence of my bedroom. “Lucy Diamond Rainbow” I said, clearly, with purpose. And chills went through me. A shiver of yes. I knew it was you.
The day you were born. Your Daddy stood down by my legs, his face beaming with excitement as you emerged, as I roared you out from within me. You came out all pink and glorious and he was appointed the job of announcing your sex at birth but as the doctor lifted you I caught the very first glimpse between your legs and in that second I was the only person on earth to know my someday daughter had come home. And then he announced, loud and proud, “Its a girl.” and I bawled. Cried right along with you at the wonder of life. I had dreamt you into being. Here you were.
That was 365 days ago.
I haven’t shone through all 365 of those days. I’ll be perfectly honest. Postpartum Depression and Anxiety stole a large chunk of those days. I didn’t always mother you the way I intended to. I feel guilty for that, that I failed you in a lot of ways. I wish I had a do-over but you are so busy growing. The first year has flown by and I have a million photos and so many precious memeories and you are bound and determined to head straight into toddlerhood with your eyes wide open. You have purpose. A mission. Meaning. Power. You are my spirit wrapped in a whole new vessel. You are very much OF me, but you are not me. You are not my mistakes nor my flaws, not my hopes nor my desires. You have a pathway all of your own to carve and I am here praying with every thing within me that I can provide you the tools to get where you want to go, chin held high, eyes on the prize, magic in your heart.
Never stop believing. Ever. Never give up in what you feel truly matters, even if everyone else says it’s foolish. Stand firm even when you stand alone. Treasure the ones who walk beside you. Show gratitude. Dance with your arms up high. Sing as loud as you care to. Be brave. People will tell you girls cannot be brave. Ignore them. Keep a journal. Look back in gratitude for lessons learned. There is no such thing as regrets or mistakes. Only lessons. Never forget you are your very own spectacular version of beautiful. Know you are loved. So very very deeply truly loved. On the day you were born I posted the birth announcement and the first photo of you and I on my Facebook page. It got thousand of views, 424 likes and an outpouring of congratulations. You are adored. On the days you feel like you might not matter so very much in the grand scheme of things, just tell yourself how loved you are.
11 days after you were born I wrote you a letter. Part of that letter said : ”
” I love that you have the eyes of a mermaid and the smell of heaven and the sounds of ancient secrets on your tongue”. I was already amazed with you. I still am. You are brilliant and perfect and everything I always knew you would be and will be.
Happy Birthday starshine.
Love always and forever and even beyond that,