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.