A Mother's Gem Daughter
Suddenly, through birthing a daughter, a woman finds herself face to face not only with an infant, a little girl, a woman-to-be, but also with her own unresolved conflicts from the past and her hopes and dreams for the future-Elizabeth Debold and Idelisse Malave
I was eighteen years old, and filled with lofty dreams, when i became a mom. As disruptive as the event was to everything i had planned for myself, it will forever be the greatest gift and highest point of my life and womanhood. My child was never unwanted, not by me, nor by her dad. We loved her, and love her still, everything that she is. She was a baby i was sure i would have, but, preferably, on a much later date. But who is to dictate what is to be, and what i know now without a doubt, was to be our destiny? It is sheer folly to blame anybody for what happened, and i don't. Not even the 'to be daddy', young cocky kid who's glib and charm blew all my best defenses away. After all, i had a track record as a serious student, an outstanding one, the Editor of our school paper, and named among those predicted to succeed.
No one knew my vulnerability, not even myself. I was dealing with deep personal issues, like the untimely death of my brother, trouble at home, and my parents pending separation. By some freaky stroke, the new kid provided a much needed friendship that was more intelligent than the rest, and gave me his sympathetic shoulder. He listened to my troubles which i felt i could entrust to no one else. And, whatever aligned in the heavens, or dis-aligned, we found ourselves 'falling' . Call it reckless, 'teen love', it seemed quite real at that time. Some things are just not as simple to comprehend. Looking back, i know i could have made a different choice. But, looking forward, i have no regret, having a child come out of, what many predicted to be a failed marriage. When i gave birth to my daughter, it was world shaking for me. I looked at the most beautiful creature/being i ever beheld. I knew i was holding an undeserved gift from above. I would be changed.
The ugly painful divorce couldn't be helped. The odds were far too great for 'youth' to deal with. I wanted out, and deep inside me, i wanted the father of my child to find his wings, which meant letting him go. I didn't have any way of weighing my decision and it's full implication it would have on my daughter and her well being. She was just a baby, and i had to pick up the pieces for us, not knowing where to even begin. We were on our own, to face a daunting world, unkind, judgemental and indifferent.
Any astronomer can predict with absolute accuracy just where every star in the universe will be at 11.30 tonight. He can make no such prediction about his teenage daughter. ~James T. Adams
Raising a child as a single mom, brought about many challenges to say the least. Mine was a precocious and strong-willed girl. To keep her busy and out of mischief, i had to enroll her in every class, from dance, art, singing, name it. Despite my lack of training, i was fortunate to find jobs, much of the time, and did well as a model which supported the lifestyle i wanted. My hard work paid off, and eventually i was running my own company. I loved my new freedom and felt empowered as a woman. I could pay my own way in life, choose where to go, where to be and with whom. I gained respect in a world that tried to stigmatize a divorcee like me, and culturally believed it was natural to bring me down. As work became more demanding, and my social life went into full gear, i had to depend more on a nanny to care for Anna. I know it was tough for my little girl, who was growing, wondering about her identity, and wanting so much to belong. I knew, she craved for a father she had yet to come to know. I tried to fill two roles, of mom and dad. I knew i had to keep a good balance, of being the breadwinner and giving quality time to make my daughter happy. Weekends were designed just for our quality time together, so i would take her to the beach where she could be the 'Lil Mermaid' she loved to be. But there are voids that cannot be filled humanly.
I had a glimpse of one day 'losing' her to someone, when she was ten, when she introduced a little boy from school as her 'boyfriend'. It was of course much too innocent, and a laugh. Then, when she became a teen, she was infatuated with Donny Osmond, which was followed by other 'harmless' celebrity heartthrobs. She would blossom into a beauty, which of course brought out my 'bulldog' guard personality. I did well to parry off her many suitors, but we all know how that plays out. When she thought she had found her 'prince'. it was impossible to convince her otherwise. The times she strayed, i would assert my authority to put her in line. Despite our many battle royale, win or lose, i made sure she knew she was loved and valued despite. It was such a relief to see her graduate, have her debut, and finally go off to college and finally join her dad who was living in New York. It was our first real separation and my heart ached. But, my little girl was all grown, and I knew it was time for her to fly.
A Precious Diamond
Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla. ~Jim Bishop
When she finally came back home, and we were finally reunited, i hardly recognized her. She was not just older, she was more sophisticated and obviously had embraced the ways of the world. It was hard not to be impressed with the marked intelligence and confidence she exuded. I missed my 'baby', but i couldn't help but be proud.
Every mother wishes that her daughter be spared from every kind of heartache . But life never gives us any guarantees. I had to go through my own personal purging, a spiritual conversion, to have a new beginning. I tried to undo many of my mistakes, those that especially hurt my precious child. I had to make peace with the man, who would always connect us, by extending friendship, which, thankfully, has been good for everyone. My child grew, not from a perfect 'soil', but from a healthy rich ground, mixed with all kinds of experiences, from pain to joy, defeat and triumph. She went through many pitfalls, some real bad ones, but always, by the grace of God, managed to get back up on her feet, stronger than ever.
Daughter, wife, mother, friend, a woman of great faith who walks the talk, she is incredibly compassionate. Her heart is specially big for the friendless, fatherless, and homeless.
Someone said, A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend. and this cannot be any more truer for both mother and daughter! What a gem i have!
Daughter To Mother
We're daughter and mother
Not so long ago.
We give and take
And take and give
Along time's endless row.
Love is passed
And love received
To be passed on again:
A precious heirloom
Twice, twice blessed,
A spiritual cardigan.
I'll put it on
And treasure it,
The me I have received,
And when the roles
I'll have what I most need.
So may our love
Go on and on,
A hundred thousand years;
Mothers and daughters,
Daughters and mothers,
Through joys and other tears.
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