I never wanted girls. My mother and I did not have a good relationship at all when I was growing up, and even now, all these years later I have discovered it is more fragile and tentative than I’d believed. I’ve come to realize that it will never be a solid relationship, no matter how badly I want that. We hide behind surface things and we talk about cooking or parenting rather than our feelings.
My dad used to urge me to just stick it out until I was eighteen, but I left home a year earlier. My mom and I did not speak until well after my eighteenth birthday. I didn’t realize until after I left home that growing up she had not had a good relationship with her mother either growing up, and that my grandmother had not even lived with her mother due to relationship issues.
So, needless to say, I was scared to death of the idea of having a girl. When I got pregnant I tried to tell myself it was a boy, I tried to pretend, but I knew very early on I was carrying a girl. I just felt it in my bones. I won’t lie, it took me awhile to be excited—I just accepted it with resignation. The day of my ultrasound, when the technician asked me if I had any inkling as to what I was having, I responded by saying, “If you tell me I am having a boy I will be so shocked I will fall off this table.” Needless to say, she didn’t.
My daughter is spirited, she is stubborn, she is fearless. She is just like me. Just like me. And now, as a mother, I see that the problem between my mother and I is that we didn’t understand one another—we still don’t—but that we handled our feelings the same. We were too much alike and unable to realize it and work with it. That, of course, is not all of the problem, but a good bit of it. My daughter and I have encountered some similar power struggles, some of them—I’m ashamed to admit—before she was even a year old.
I am determined to break this curse that my mother passed down, determined to break it once and for all. Do you know how? By communicating, by offering understanding, even if I don’t agree. My darling daughter is sassy and determined—she is a force to be reckoned with! And when I get angry I take a couple of deep breaths, I look at her, and I see myself. I think of how much better things would have been if my mom could have tried to get to know me, if she would have tried to understand my feelings. I look at Alison, and I see me, so I shake it off and be the best parent I can for her. I know things will only get tougher, so I can’t let the small things break me. I have to be strong for her, for the both of us, so that she will not have these doubts and fears concerning her own daughter one day.
We must be getting it right, together, because when I learned I was pregnant again just a year after she’d been born, I was hoping for a girl! I got my wish, and boy do I have a hard but fulfilling path ahead of me!