Mourning the little girl and embracing the young lady
In 1996, when I found out I was pregnant, I was magically embracing the thought of a new baby, and although the pregnancy was not planned, I was genuinely excited for myself and this child who was going to be in my arms in almost 9 months.
We were not rich, nor were we prepared, however, I quickly realized that I had a support system, thus, slowly but surely my nesting happened and we were ready for her arrival.
My pregnancy was not easy and I could not wait for the day to meet my baby. We did not know whether it was a boy or a girl until the day I pushed her out and arrived on my stomach as fast as I could say ouch!
I was trying hard to see what my baby was. The nurse quickly opened the baby’s legs and said: “Is this what you wanted to see?” Then the tears came, flowing as warm as a gentle summer breeze. I could not believe my eyes! I had my baby girl!
I was so in love with her. I could have never imagined feeling a love so deep for someone. This love could move mountains, displace air, and rock the oceans. Each and every breath she took was mine.. I could not stop staring at her in her little crib, which was right next to my bed and said to myself: “She’s mine, alllll mine! My little baby” (Tears well up in my eyes as I write this because the feeling, even though it happened 14 years ago, is still so fresh in my heart.)
As she grew, she amazed me even more. Always laughing, always playing and always by my side, she laughed like me, she wanted to dress like me ,she loved Oprah like me, and even at 4, she loved to argue with me. Once, while looking at a book of animals, I pointed out a spider to her. She yelled “Mom!!! That’s not a spider! That’s a tarantula!!” God bless her, she was absolutely right.
She had her favorite doll whom she baptized “Newbaby”. We played with Newbaby together. Newbaby even called me Nanny! When my daughter was hospitalized Newbaby was too and they both ate pancakes. The doll, still had a piece of pancake stuck in its mouth for a very long time until I decided to wash her. Newbaby followed us everywhere until the day came Newbaby shacked up in a drawer. Then I knew! It was over.
Today, I am mourning my little girl and trying really hard to embrace the teenager. I’m finding it really challenging, call me a wuss or wishy washy, however, I can’t seem to handle the fact that now: I’m an alien to her. She doesn’t connect with me, she often looks at me in disdain, and the way she talks to me, MY GOD, I want to slap her silly…. but I don’t and I never will. What kills me is that I studied Child Development and Childhood Psychology but I feel so lost.
We must argue twice a week, and even know the experts say: “Don’t engage, don’t engage’’ I engage..and then give myself cr@p every time. Lately I’ve been frantically googling “How to speak to teenagers” or “How to raise teenagers” and stumbled upon http://www.empoweringparents.com/ which has given me guidance on how to communicate with my teenager. I do succeed at some of the stuff, however, my emotions often get the best of me and then I explode or cry! I really feel that I suck at this!
Don’t get my wrong, my daughter is a bright, funny, amazing girl. Just lately, she is crabby, disrespectful, sneaky and wise! She knows how to push my buttons, and I let her do it.!
So, thinking back to her younger years, I console myself in knowing that the values I have passed on are now little seeds planted in her soul, and maybe… just maybe I will see one sprouting really soon.
I love you baby girl. With all my heart and soul.