You and I fell in love, didn’t we, in that private little room, just the two of us, gazing into each other’s eyes.
Your hands were in mine, I held you close to my chest and smothered you with kisses. I stroked your face and marvelled at your perfect form.
I imprinted every detail of you into my memory and told myself never to forget this moment, such a tender moment from the violence that had come before.
Perhaps violence is too strong a word, trauma would be better.
We were at peace, in that moment, I remember it so clearly, how you filled my heart and tears streamed down my face, because finally you had come to be in my life.
A girl, the doctors said, when they pulled you free.
And you, you cried out “World, I am here,” with full lungs, your face pink, full of life already.
What would that mean for me, to raise a girl? Sex talk, periods, boyfriends, teenage pregnancy (God forbid), school bitchiness, glass ceilings and prejudice.
All these things mingled together and flashed through my mind with the words “A girl”.
So different to when I was told “A boy!”
Suddenly, I was afraid, a girl. Can I do this?
But I overestimated, didn’t I, how much I would have to teach you.
The one who has learnt the most between us, is me.
To be strong, to be fearless, compassionate, creative, carefree and to stand up for what I believe in.
All of that, my darling daughter, you bring out in me. A desire to want more, for me, for you, for the world.
So world, I give her to you, a girl, my girl. Please, love her like I do, and together we’ll see who she can be.
For my daughter on her birthday, love mum
Also published in 100storiesin100days