In a couple of weeks this little girl of mine above will turn seven (SEVEN!), and I can’t help but think about all the things she has taught me about myself. I think having her has been the key to an unlocking of my true self in a way. Life truly did begin for me the second I became pregnant, and then again when I held her in my arms on the day she was born. That night, when she came three weeks early and shocked us all, was so unbelievable to me. Who was this baby in my arms? Was she really mine? I couldn’t believe that I actually grew every part of her within me, that this miracle was created and grown from the smallest of cells and became a person. She was, and is, a gift that continues to amaze me.
It’s hard to catalogue my feelings and thoughts on her, and how she has changed me. She continues to be the mirror to my soul, in both good and bad ways. I can’t hide from her, she takes it all in and watches, she is always watching me and learning from me how to be a woman (this scares me to death.) Yet, I think it is what she has taught me that will remain with me forever. This girl, who will someday be a woman, is everything I needed in life that I didn’t know I ever lacked until she arrived. And I am so thankful for that.
She has taught me that I need to take care of myself, in how I eat and how I work out, because I want to teach her how to love her body and care for it. And that the statement “like a girl” is ridiculous.
She has taught me to be careful in how I speak of other women in front of her, because she will learn from me that it is not okay to be judgmental and mean.
She has taught me to be very selective in how she is exposed to women being objectified and over sexual, because I don’t want her to think that is all she has to offer.
She has taught me to push her to try new things, because I want her to experience all life has to offer. Soccer, Baseball, Dance, Gymnastics, Drama Club, Ice Skating, or Karate. No matter what she loves, I will be on the sidelines cheering the loudest.
She has taught me that is is okay that we are both very alike and very different. I want her to feel loved and accepted by me in every part of her soul. Because she is amazing.
She has taught me that she is capable of doing things on her own, and being too rigid and in control is not good for everyone.
She has taught me that she is listening, always, and that all I say about myself is what she will eventually think about herself.
She has taught me that my need to protect her is visceral, and that I will want to kill anyone that tries to hurt her (don’t worry, I’ll keep all my dark thoughts in my over imaginative head…)
She has taught me that parenting is a more than a 24 hours a day, 18 year journey. I will be her mama forever and will always be rooting for her and wanting the best life has to offer.
She has taught me that even though she is my whole life and will be one of my greatest achievements, she is her own person and deserves to figure out parts of life on her own. I’ll just have to figure out when to squeeze tight and when to let go.
And she has taught me that even on the days I am shaking my head and going NUTS from the craziness of being a parent, that I would never change one single day of having her in my life.
Because she is my world, and my baby. Always.