I could tell stories about my daughter’s birth that could make you laugh or make you cry. For some reason, for the past few days I’ve done both.
Today, my once cute little doll baby turns 14. She is sometimes someone I feel like I just don’t understand. I’d like to say it’s because she is so much like her father. It’s really because she is nothing like I used to be. And that’s not a bad thing.
My daughter has always represented newness to me. She is my only girl. She was born a month before my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. I stopped taking anti-depressants because of her and had to learn to navigate life differently. I changed my diet (and hers too when she was a baby) because my perspective was different. And I took a job well below my pay grade to be able to afford day care for her so that she wouldn’t be stuck looking at me through the week while everyone else went off to school and work.
She is also things I never was as a girl. She loved bold prints and mismatched patterns. She is confident, has lots of friends, high self esteem, loves God and is an amazing athlete.
Well, she probably got that love of McDonald’s and ice cream from me but I digress.
Sometimes I don’t know how to relate. Maybe that’s the mother/teenage daughter struggle. Maybe that’s because she’s a daddy’s girl. Or maybe it’s because she turned out to be exactly who I raised her to be and she’s more like present day Tasha than teeenage Tasha. Maybe it’s because I’m frustrated that she doesn’t understand what I had to give for us both to be these people.
Maybe it’s because I’m often scared to death of what awaits her in the world and I’m trying to find a way to prepare her for it and she is more interested in being on SnapChat. Maybe I’ve been trying to raise her in the 21st century with 20th century logic. Maybe it’s because I am in awe of everything housed in that perfect body of hers.
Today is the day that I teach her to hold on to what makes her who she is with everything she’s got. While I will be thinking about the moments when she cried when I left, jumped for joy when I came home, spit up on me, crawled to me, let me comb her hair and asked me for all of the sparkly shirts when we went shopping, I will watch her grow through these last four years of childhood and remember that in spite of feeling like a failure as her mother, I have given her everything I have.
Happy Birthday, My Precious Love.