There is a girl, she stole my heart, she calls me mom.
“Mamamamamama” is a constant refrain around the house these days. Frequently followed by a delicate hand on my leg as she pulls herself up to standing and stares up at me with her bright eyes and giant smile as if to simply say “hi.”
I am a mother now, and I have a daughter. There are few times in life when you can say you got exactly what you wanted, but I can safely say this little girl is exactly what I wanted. While I really and truly would have been just as happy and excited to have a son, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that deep deep down I really was hoping for a daughter.
I think there is a certain, special magic to the mother-daughter relationship. In raising her I am given the gift of helping shape a future generation of women, and in return she is further shaping me as a person. She motivates me to be a stronger and more confident woman because I know that I will be a key role model for her. This has me evaluating my actions with the thought “would I want my daughter to do the same thing?” Most often this actually motivates me to take chances and risks and to put myself out there when I otherwise wouldn’t due to fears and insecurities because I find the answer to the question “would I want my daughter to not do something she really wants to do because she’s scared?” to be “No.”
I realize in some respects our mother-daughter relationship is currently in the easy years. She loves me unconditionally, her words are limited to a few simple ones (mama, dadda, sometimes an ok thrown in too), and even when she does something she shouldn’t for the millionth time she’s just so gosh darn cute I can’t actually get angry – I simply correct her or move her to a safer location with the phrase “not for Ramona.” I also realize that the reality of our relationship as she grows will likely be completely different from the romanticized images I have in my head. While I imagine us watching cheesey movies and shows together, teaching her the crafts my mother and grandmother taught me, and having long and open talks about life; in reality she will probably prefer to hang out with her friends, may have no interest in learning to crochet, knit, quilt, or cook, and may prefer writing in a journal to confiding secrets in me. I know there will be days in our future where she doesn’t like me very much, and doesn’t understand that my decisions really and truly are in her best interest and are based on my love for her (and not simply to ruin her life and make her miserable); and there will be a time when her misbehavior is no longer cute and is in fact infuriating. But no matter what the reality of our relationship turns out to be, one thing will never change, she is my daughter and I am her mother; and in those hard moments I will remind myself that this little girl is exactly what I wanted and I wouldn’t ask to have it any other way.