Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Be Good to Your Daughters.

The day the nurses placed Eden on my chest following the grand announcement that she was a girl, I thought two things:  First, I touched her perfect, round, whole head and marveled that she was real and healthy and here.

Then it hit me - I had no idea what I was going to do with a daughter.

There were the obvious concerns.  I hardly know what to do with my own hair, let alone the hair of a little girl.  I have pitiful fashion sense and I'm pretty shitty at applying make-up.

But my broader fears, the fears that kept me hoping for a brood of boys, have been creeping up on me.  How do I teach her to be selfless, without giving herself away?  How do I teach her to love others, but not at the expense of not loving herself?  How do I teach her to have a heart open to love and romance, but not to be a fool?  Or let her know that she is beautiful, but that beauty isn't everything?  Or impress upon her that she can be anything, an engineer, a doctor, or even a hairdresser?  How do I give her everything I can while letting her know that everything means nothing without love, family, and God?  How do I strike the balance in guiding her to do what's right while loving her no matter what she does wrong?

Her daddy looks at her with an easy love, while I look at her with fear.  How do I keep from screwing her up?  How do I teach her to be stronger than me?

Most importantly, how do I let her know how much she has brightened my world, without condemning her to live in Gabriel's shadow?  How do I let her know that although I still think Gabriel hung the stars for me, she is my sunshine?  Eden is my Heaven on earth.

I find myself afraid, running from how much I love her.  Over the last three years longing for Gabriel has become the status quo.  It's not surprise to me anymore.  But sometimes I am sitting at my desk at work while Eden is at daycare, and I feel this surge through my body accompanied by an intense desire to hold her in my arms and I know that I am missing her. And I know that feeling is nothing less than unconditional love.

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