Mothers of daughters are daughters of mothers and have remained so, in circles joined to circles, since time began.
Ah, February, a month that begins with love. This is not because of Valentine’s Day but rather because my daughter was born on February 1st.
I laid on the chilly stainless steel bed in the operating room pissed off that I couldn’t bear my child ‘naturally.’ After hours of labor, I needed a C-section.
“You’ll be awake, at least. Not like the first time,” my husband said.
The memory of the emergency cesarean I had with my son, after twenty-four hours of labor, an epidural and a spinal block, shifted through my body.
I pushed aside my feeling of failure, for that’s what I believed having a c-section meant instead of vaginal birth.
The intake of breath of the doctor and nurse made my heart sink until both of them said,
“Look at that hair!” and my husband yelled “A girl.”
I held my nine-pound bundle of a baby girl with her halo of dark hair and creamy soft skin and breathed easy.
There is an old Mexican tradition of naming a child after the baby’s grandmother but we didn’t need another “Maria,” much to my mother’s chagrin. I gave my daughter a name that is a combination of my mother’s name and my middle name.
Already having a rambunctious son, I wanted a daughter to cuddle for more than a minute but as she grew, she had her rowdy times too as well as her playtime talking with her dolls and the family dog.
Now my daughter’s hair is dyed chrome silver after having been aqua, green, and jet black in earlier years. So hair is a focal point even to this day.
It’s a wonder how a baby shoots up to a kindergartener, a teenager and on to a young adult.
Sometimes, I forget my daughter is no longer a dependent kid but an independent woman who lived on her own for five years in Denver, bought her own car, pays her own bills, takes good care of her cat, and has managed to travel to Chicago, New York, and Houston on her own dime.
In the years between those two spectrums I hope I’ve given her the three beliefs that are listed in the quote above:
- The confidence to know her self-worth
- The strength to chase her dreams
- The ability to know how truly, deeply loved she is
I am a definite on the last two and I’m reminding myself to speak out on the first one more often.
So, on February first I celebrated my daughter, in the month of love, and with my own personal Valentine.