I will never forget the day we found out we were having a little girl.
We had gone to our doctor appointment with our minds made up, and our feet planted firmly on our desire to not find out the gender of our baby. The Doc. had been my doctor for a while, so he knew us pretty well, as did his nursing staff. So of course, they had asked repeatedly if we were 100% sure. We assured them we were absolutely POSITIVE we didn’t want to know if we were carrying a little guy or gal. We get shuffled to the ultrasound room and get to see our little miracle in beautiful black and white wavy lines. We oohed and awed and I wiped the go-go goo from my belly and started to walk out. The tech stops me and hands me a sealed envelope. She smiles sweetly and says, “You will thank me later, the answer is inside.”
I take the envelope and we walk to the car. We don’t even get our doors shut before we are surrounded by cell phone cacophony. EVERYONE wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. EVERYONE. People I haven’t talked to for years were posting on my Facebook wall dying to know!
The envelope remained sealed.
More calls. More tweets and posts. Still we stood firm. We would not be swayed. We were determined to make it through the final 21 weeks of pregnancy and letting the little one tell us in the delivery room.
9:30 rolls around and we get a call from our boss. She demanded to know the sex. She let us know that if we didn’t open the envelope and tell her right then, we had no reason to come in to work the following morning. Now we knew she was joking…a little, but still, this wasn’t a woman to trifled with.
All of our grand plans flew out the window as we said yes ma’am and opened it up. I was secretly excited that she “forced our hand”. Waiting really isn’t my style. We get the envelope open and stare down at a…bunch of wavy lines. There is no it’s a boy or it’s a girl. I see lines. I have no idea what I am looking at, according to this I am giving birth to a ball of yarn.
So even with the envelope open we still have no idea what the sex is. That was unacceptable. Now that it was out in the open I HAD to know. Luckily for us we knew a few OB nurses. A few quick picture snaps and a few text messages later we had our answer. We were having a girl. A little girl. Pink. Bows. Frills. Dolls. A girl!
That’s when it started.
She would be my Mini-Me. Everyone said so. It was all very exciting. I had longed for the day I had a daughter I could share things with. She would look like me. Think like me. Have the same interests. A true Mini-Me.
We scheduled her arrival on a Friday first thing in the morning. She decided to come two weeks early and on a Tuesday…at night.I should have known then. I should have seen the signs. Her first day out in the world, and it wasn’t according to MY schedule.
She did look like me. There was absolutely no mistaking who that little girl’s mama was. Same chunky cheeks…same nose and mouth. She was me all over. It became hard to take her anywhere. I would have her in my arms walking through Walmart and we would be assaulted by little old ladies. Every one of them had to stop me and pinch her cheeks, then pinch mine and say oh my sugar, she looks just like you.
It only got worse as she grew older. We have a picture of the two of us looking at each other, and it looks as if she is looking into the face of her future. Yes, we look that similar. As she grew, her personality began to blossom. She has formed opinions on things. Boy, did she have opinions on things. And come to find out, they were different than mine. How did that happen? Didn’t all those ladies say she was a Mini-Me? Shouldn’t she think like I do as well as look like me? She loves everything pink. I hate pink and prefer blue. She hates rice, and I think rice should go with everything. She needs dresses. I have to be forced to wear one.
She was not a Mini-Me.
I made the mistake of trying to force a little girl who looks like me, into a mold of myself. I was pushing her this way, when she needed to go that way. I wasn’t guiding her growth, I was forcing it. And in forcing it, I was breaking her beautiful spirit. I thought because she looked so much like me, she had to be me. And let’s face it…one of me is plenty. I was not only doing her a disservice, but myself and anyone who might encounter her a long the way a disservice as well. She is a beautiful soul who has so much to offer this world. She was getting lost, and that was my doing.
It nearly broke me in two when I realized what I was doing. We were picking out her clothes for the day, and she wanted a green and blue tie-dyed pair of shorts, mismatched heels, a ridiculously bright yellow top, and TWO different hair bows. She had her heart set on that outfit, and all I said was, no that’s wrong. What was wrong with it though other than I didn’t like it? Nothing! It may not of matched, but when has that been a prerequisite to go to Walmart? She insisted they were perfect and beautiful and I insisted they were wrong. Then it hit me. Her choice of clothes wasn’t wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong to think that her opinions and interests had to be like mine. I was a wrong to insist that the yellow shirt was not beautiful. I may not of liked it, but she did. And she felt good in it.
We sat in her room, on the floor (which was covered in clothes because she was looking for the perfect outfit) and I cried. Cried because I didn’t really know my little girl. I only knew what I was unintentionally trying to make her. Then she cried because mama was crying, and we don’t like to let people cry alone. Then I hugged my little girl in her yellow shirt, tie-dyed shorts, mismatched heels and crazy bows in her hair, and thanked God for her. Thanked Him for her uniqueness. Her ability to stand firm with her opinions. Her beauty -inside and out. I thanked Him for that ridiculously hideous yellow shirt that opened my eyes.
She may look similar to me, but she isn’t me.
She will grow and change throughout the years. We will butt heads along the way…sometimes pretty hard. If I try to force her, I will stand the risk of breaking or damaging her. If she is to truly blossom, I need to guide and nurture her. That’s all I can do.
She is her own person. And that person is beautiful.