To my friend Rock Starr… you are reading my book, that’s what all these posts titled “About A Girl” are about. Then eventually I will flush them out a bit more in depth. And there are some that I still have set to private because I sometimes get stuck on exactly what I want to say about a certain subject. It’s a work in progress. If and when I finish it you’ll be the first to know : )
Right now, since I’m trying to do a Generation X point of view all the titles, while being related to the topic in the post are all songs from Grunge bands. The title of my posts you might recognize is a Nirvana song, my favorite one in fact. The book was called “Punk Rock Girl” for awhile in my head, but then I came up with this theme and I thought it was a real neat feature.
The most common comment I received after my break-up was “well, at least you have your daughter.” I was never quite sure what that was suppose to mean. I had just lost everything I had built up in my life and landed flat on my face with a loud thud. Why on Earth should I be thankful that I’m a mom?
Did they mean that, at least since I had my daughter, I wasn’t going to be lonely? Or perhaps that taking care of a baby would keep my mind of the wretched state of my life? That I didn’t lose her to her dad in a messy divorce case? That she was healthy? Lord, I still to this day, four years later, haven’t a clue what some of those people might have meant.
The one that sticks in my memory most came from my old friend who has a son about the same age as my daughter. I was over at her house one day a few months after the fact when she said the same thing “well, at least you have your daughter.”
Now, having known her for years and feeling mighty comfortable around her I just had to say it. “What does that even mean? Everyone says that to me, why?”
She was her holding her son at that moment in her arms when she turned away from me with a slight giggle. She leaned over into her son’s ear and whispered with a smile “she still doesn’t get it.” I smirked, obviously she wasn’t inclined to explain, or it could be one of those things that you can’t explain.
I remember I looked at my daughter then, playing on the floor with some of the other boy’s toys. I tried to think about it. Truthfully, I’d rather be with her than without her, but I had the distinct impression that there was an aspect of motherhood that I was missing. I don’t think that I had ever gotten that glow that people say surrounds new mothers.
I was very much in mother mode and I performed every function I believed was fitting of a good mother. And I did love her, and care for her; I changed diapers, and sang, washed, and lost sleep, and everything associated with being a mother. It wasn’t just a sense of duty, it isn’t for any mother who sits up all night cleaning a seemingly endless supply of vomit your baby dishes out.
So how long before I think I finally understood the mystery of what my friend whispered in her son’s ear? I can’t remember the exact moment, only that it took more than a year. At some point I looked at my daughter and I realized the depth of what I was feeling.
If you don’t have kids then there’s only one way I can think to explain it, that is if you’ve ever fallen in love. When you’re in love there are moments when you look at the other person and that love runs through you like a wave and you can’t help but just smile for no reason. That’s what my daughter was giving me everyday, with every one of her smiles.