My daughter brings me the greatest joy in my life. Husband and I discussed having children for a long time before we actually made the decision to get pregnant. I even had a bout of counseling before attempting to get pregnant. This, because my sister told me that old issues would come up and bite me in the butt and I ought to plan ahead. Wanting to do things right, I did just that. Talked about my relationship with Mom and (at that time) with Toilet. My husband and I had talked about the fact that there would be rules - Toilet would never be left alone with our child and Mom was not an appropriate supervisor.
So I got pregnant and felt an immediate bond with this unborn child. I told my mom about the pregnancy and some comment about Toilet and grandfather-something was made. Then Toilet - first time ever, called my work. Just to say Hi. He was driving through town. Didn't want to get together and do lunch, but just to say hi. I freaked. Felt something rushing through my head and things went black. I called my Mom and cut things off with Toilet. No more contact. I had to protect my child.
Amazing how early the maternal instinct kicked in for me. Especially given my roots. My daughter has never seen Toilet. Never will if I have anything to do about it. My sister's kids call my mom "the grandma without the grandpop" to distinguish her from their other grandparents.
My daughter was born around dawn. After a night of no sleep and a day full of visitors, husband and I were exhausted. We decided to go to bed early. He was sleeping on the hospital couch, me in the bed with our daughter in her bassinet. Husband pulled out his Bible and began to read and we prayed over her. I remember tears welling up in both of our eyes as we were hit with the enormity of what having a child really meant. I never knew I could love someone so much. Husband and I realized, too, the full impact of God's sacrificing his Son for us. My daughter was only hours old and I wasn't giving her up for anyone.
There have been additional "keepsakes" moments - her having to hold my finger in her chubby little hand to fall asleep, our last nursing session, waking up to her lying beside me, the nights we stayed up all night with her crying or sick, her first smile, and the first time she said "mama" and meant it.
My daughter is now 3 1/2. She is still the light of my life. Every night I go in to her room before I go to bed. I tuck the covers back over her, smooth the hair out of her face, and kiss her forehead. I kneel beside her bed and pray over her. I would die for her, kill for her, do anything in the world I can for her.
My daughter has reached the age of memories. My earliest childhood memory is when I am 2 1/2 and my sister is born. Then I remember next being about 3 1/2. It occurred to me yesterday that what I do and say will, perhaps, be remembered by my daughter forever. It will shape her and impact her. What an awesome responsibility. My husband and I have had several arguments lately (he's still alive by the way) and two have been in front of our daughter. She got herself into trouble and I realized it was solely to distract us from fighting. I felt horrible. I remember doing the same thing with my parents.
As my daughter approaches milestones, I worry about what memories will surface about my own childhood. They are there - the memories. On the fringes. I catch glimpses when she does something, says something or reacts a certain way. I catch myself holding back and dreading what she will do next sometimes.
I'm committed to raise my daughter better. To be her protector. A friend's recent experience with a memory of being sacrificed to the Wolf made me even more determined to protect mine. I think today calls for some Mommy and Daughter time - just some Girl time for the two of us. It's time to create some memories of my own for her - some good ones.