Seven years ago today I gave birth to my sweet baby. I know it's very cliche, but it doesn't seem like it's been that long. I was 18, in high school, and trying to figure out how to get by in this big world. Most of my friends bailed during the pregnancy, and I was of course labeled as "that kind of girl". But honestly, she was the best thing that had ever come into my life. And I thought that even then. I never did understand how so many people can walk away from something so wonderful. And I understand that even less today than I did back then. She still does ask me questions about relatives, trying to sort through this charade of genetics she was cast into. And she has a hard time comprehending that yes she does have two grandfathers, just like every else, even though she'll probably never meet either. And yes, as far as I know, they're both still alive. And it puzzles her why my father walked away from me. She periodically offers to hunt him down and tell him exactly how mean he's been, being absent half my life. I find this humorous considering she'd go that far to defend me and yet she has no notions to go to such drastic lengths for herself, having been left at a much younger age and in a much harsher way, and multiple times over these years. But that's just how she is.
Yes, she has her bad days. The days that I have to threaten to tickle her to death to get a smile, or have to remind her that tomorrow will be a new day, and that she's just as wonderful and unique as anyone else she can think of. That at her age of course she isn't an expert artist, and her writing techniques will get better with practice, and that mommys typically can run faster than their children. That there's nothing wrong with her being her, and that's the best thing in this world for her to be. That sometimes being yourself is the only thing standing between you and your dreams, and that anything or anyone that expects you to give that up in their pursuit isn't worth the effort to even wave goodbye.
Then she has her good days. And I wonder how the hell something so beautiful and wonderful and self-less could be borne of my flesh. And I'll never know this. Aside from the confirmation in her name's sake. She is "God's gracious gift of life", and I will never doubt that. She will go so far out of her way just to make a stranger (she's never even met) smile. She writes poetry in like form to mine, which I think is more her effort to pay tribute to me somehow than anything else. Of this, I know I am not worthy. She has such a strong bond with her brother, that I honestly believe no distance could ever sever it, short of the parting of their hearts from each other's paths. And God, I pray that never happens to her.
Her dreams are the same they've been for years now - to be a singer and a cowgirl and a poet and a veternarian. And I realize those are the same as mine from my youth. It saddens me to see what I've become and think that maybe she'll never surpass that. Not for my sake, but for hers. This world is hers to pursue and to cherish and to partake of, and I hope that she sees that for what it is. Not some glorified dream of ego taking hold, but the chance to be anything that your heart can perceive. Your dreams taking flight and nothing but your own unsteadiness holding you back. I hope that somehow I can help her in her journey, I hope I can do enough to see her blossom more as the years go by.
me puella, me orba, me viva, me ama...te amo aeternum