The only Mother’s Day I’ve ever remembered a decent amount of time prior to its arrival, was the one I celebrated while pregnant with my first child and the first one after she was born. After that, all of the other ones seemed to sneak up on me. Thank goodness for tv commercials. I’m not even sure how much my husband actually remembers them either, because I am never really bothered about getting a gift, or being held in higher regard on that particular day. Treat me good all the time, not just supposed special occasions. That’s what I prefer.
Tonight while I was doing my nightly chores, I glimpsed a Mother’s Day commercial on tv and then I realized that the year is really flying by and another Mother’s Day is upon us. It also reinforces that my children are getting older and I am as well. I began to get very reflective and I started to do some soul searching. Years ago, I would have been sifting through a box of letters, that I store underneath my bed. Tonight, I’m going through my e-mail inbox , looking at some of my old e-letters, poems and stories / journal entries. I then came across a piece that I had written soon after I had had my daughter. I didn’t look through my inbox any more after I’d found it, as I suppose subconsciously, that may have been what I went searching for.
I remember how scared I was, at the thought of having to take care of another life besides my own and how suddenly I began to question my choices, when reality bit hard like a hungry vampire. It’s mind May-hem all over again…
Below is the story / journal entry, written when I was in whatever frame of mind, I can’t figure out,… Maybe the same one I’m in right now….
I am not sure at what age little girls recognize love. Not the love you get from your mother and father, but the love where you want the handsome prince to kiss you on the lips and awaken you to a life of happily ever after, just like in the fairy tales.
It seemed so simple. He would think that you were the most beautiful woman in the world, then you’d fall in love instantly. Of course, he would then ask you to marry him. On your wedding day, you’d put on your perfect dress, in your unsullied state and your devoted, loving father, would give you away to the new man in your life, who would protect and take care of you, forever ever. Forever ever? Forever ever! Amen.
Ideal theory, isn’t it.
I somehow managed to escape every part of this little ole theory.
True love seems as though it should be one of the easiest things to experience. A natural human right of passage. But I guess it just seems so.
I do not want to blame the absence of my father in the initial years of my life,(you know the first 19), for contributing to any indiscretions I may have had, because we all have to take responsibility for our own actions. But I’m sure if I was put on a psychiatrist’s couch, I would be told something like ” you have un-resolved father daughter issues.”
Love is a funny thing.
The more I tried to get it, the harder it was to receive and the further away it seemed.
I know and take responsibility for whatever went wrong on my quest. A big part of the reason for my missteps, was rejection of elder guidance, plain out disobedience and rebellion. Sometimes, parental love doesn’t feel sufficient. It is. It should be, but sometimes we don’t recognize the obvious. But why does it sometimes take the whole day before we recognize the sunshine?
In my youthful and worldly wisdom, I felt as though I possessed the capacity to stand firm against all pressures, be they peer or above. My values seemed impenetrable, so I felt secure. I knew myself better than anyone else. I had my ideal relationship boundaries and I was firm in my stance. Somehow though, I managed to go from…Never!…. to We’ll see,… to Maybe,… to Ok,…. to Yes.
I rebelled right into what I tried to stand against. In my quest for individuality, I conformed and compromised, though not immediately, but eventually. It was almost as though the devil used reverse psychology on me.
I was fine with my decisions for a while. After all, it is part of growing up, gaining experiences, whether they are good or bad. That’s what my few friends said. I convinced myself that it made me more colourful and interesting. I certainly had more to write about.
I made my decisions and was fine with them, because they were mine. I am able to move around freely in my closet, as it’s not ram packed with bullshit past mistakes, and over eager skeletons, ready to jump out. I comforted myself by thinking that my mistakes could have been plentiful and more scandalous.
I remember telling my mother once, that she needed to leave me alone to “make my own mistakes”. I probably heard that shit on some American tv show.
As you grow older though, the word spontaneous takes on a new meaning and the hasty, haphazard decisions from the past, become more obvious, as they begin to hinder day-to-day life. Decisions I made years ago are coming back to affect me, and those old- fashioned ideas, now don’t seem so ancient or impractical. Consequences always come home to roost, no matter how long they tarry.
I have managed to do exactly what I wanted, but just not in the order with which I’m most comfortable, on some days.
I always wanted to have true love and intimacy with a man. I have that, ( At least I think so) 😀 . I wanted to have a baby. I have that too. But immediately after my child was born, peace was as far from me, as east could be from west.
The cart was put before the horse, so to speak. I love my baby, and I love my man, but wish I could say, “I love my husband and my family”. Reality sets in at the darndest times and it’s usually when you have absolutely no one to turn to, for comfort or advice. It’s usually at your individual rock bottom, whatever bottom is for you and clarity overwhelms you. Things never seemed so clear and dirt was never so hard to wash away.
I realize, that I would have much preferred, sharing a loving home and raising this wonderful, innocent, little person, in a committed relationship, than talking about our responsibilities and pending commitment over the phone, in our separate dwellings. I want him here.
You know, as much as you can justify decisions you’ve made, you can’t escape your own inner convictions. No matter what your friends say, it will never be sufficient. True comfort comes from within, but what works for one person, may not be ideal for another.
When I was pregnant, I was extremely happy to be carrying my boyfriend’s child and so happy to feel ” finally complete”.
*insert eye roll* .
When I had to fill out my daughter’s birth certificate information, the day after her birth, there was a part where I had to check my marital status. I checked ‘single’, then I began to cry uncontrollably.
There was no box for: ‘We’re in love and trying to figure out exactly what we want to do with our lives.. or We are going to get married, but haven’t set a date yet. That piece of paper had no respect for my life .
I knew I wasn’t married, so why did I feel so shocked when I had to select the ‘single’ option. Technically I was not single, but according to that form I was. We had discussed her name at length, after we discovered we were going to have a girl, but when I put her name down, I got another metaphorical punch to the face. She doesn’t have my last name and if I gave her mine, she wouldn’t have her father’s. I couldn’t even put his name on the birth certificate at that time in the end, because he wasn’t physically there with me to co-sign, as I was in another country, to allow my child to be born with “first world privileges”. I wasn’t legally married to him, so I could not put his name down on my own. He was there in spirit though. I learned that even in the land of the free, home of the brave and the politically correct, birth certificates are more marriage-friendly, than geared towards us fornicators.
I wanted more in that hospital room. More what?! I dunno. Maybe stability, recognizable companionship? More surety that he would remain a consistent staple in his daughter’s life, guiding her every important step along her journey, unlike my own father, who I have since made amends with. Why was I so bothered?
I am very blessed in many ways. Love seems to be my friend now, at least more than before,.. and has been for a while. A lot of what bothered in the past has been rectified, birth certificate included. I am thankful I have weathered the storms, I am thankful for my family. These things make us who we are, as we are a product of our environment and our adversities…so rain rain blast away, You can drench some more today.
Fathers love your daughters, because they grow up to be lovers, and lovers become mothers who may want to become wives.