My six-year-old daughter is the exact replicate of me. It’s scary. How can someone so little, have such a big, bossy and unique personality like her mother. Someone told me once, that she is an old soul and had been on this earth in another life. They also told me that she was a gift from the Universe, because she held the relationship I had with her father a little longer by her blessing our lives with love. I believe it, now when I do have time to look back on where we were before we had her, it makes sense. She needed us and our love needed her.
“For the first forty days a child is given dreams of previous lives. Journeys, winding paths, a hundred small lessons and then the past is erased.” – Michael Ondaatje
I love telling people the story of how I found out that I was going to be a mother again. My daughter loves to hear this story too at certain points in our journey together. There are two versions to the story, one for her little heart and ears and the one I tell those who want to know about how I became a mother.
I was doing dishes and her father had a family member come over for a visit. I didn’t think anything of it, so I continued doing my chores while he visited outside. Her dad then came inside and stood looking at me with this soft look in his eyes. His eyes were the roadmap to his soul.
He then told me there was this little girl born the day before who needed a good home and we were asked to take care. I remember laughing at the thought of starting over with a baby. My youngest at the time was ten years old. It was a silly idea, we couldn’t do it. No way! I had waited for years to get my career started and here I was in the thick of it and a baby was going to ruin the plans I had made.
We continued this conversation way into the night, bouncing the thought of becoming parents to a little girl off the wall that we were staring at. There was money, time, commitment, our relationship and our other children to think about. There was no way we could do this.
It would be nice to have a little girl in the house, someone to team up with me against a house filled with boys. It would be nice to dress her up in beautiful dresses, it would be nice to buy pink ribbons and put them in her hair. It would be nice to have a little baby babbling in our home. What was I thinking? This idea was so far-fetched. What roadblocks would we have to jump over to have her come home to us?
That night we both barely slept, talking into the night about whether we should jump in with both feet or run for the hills. We tossed and turned until daylight and then got up to face the day, with three boys, a life, bills that were over due, and the constant thought that our relationship would never last the test and the trials that were to come with a baby. In the end, we painted a nursery, our friends collected clothes for us, we changed our lives and became parents to a little girl we always dreamed of.
My daughter knows that she did not grow in my tummy. She knows she has a “tummy mommy.” I am not sure where I came up with the story I tell her about her “birth”, but when your then four-year old asks you how she came to live with you, being quick on your toes is necessary.
What she knows about her “birth” is that her other mommy was sick and needed to get better. I told her that her other mommy came to our house with her and asked if her daddy and I would take care of her.
My daughter gets really excited and asks in her high-pitched voice, “what did you say, mommy?” Then I tell her that “of course I will take care of her. I will love her forever and I am happy to be her new mommy.” My daughter then sits back with this huge smile on her face and her arms crossed, like she won the Playoffs.
When I look back on how I became her mother, our love story may have started at a kitchen sink, hands in dirty water and looking into her father’s eyes. But to us, it’s the best love story to be told. I found a little girl who is just like me in every way and my life would not exist without her. She champions me everyday to be a better woman, mother, person and human being.