When you showed up on that little stick as a plus sign, I was so unaware.
I tried to push thoughts of you aside by chatting away to the friend on the other end of my cell phone, but I had no idea you would soon fill my vision entirely. You found yourself in my womb, and instantly I knew you were a different sort of person than I’d ever met before. Confident and bold, yet humble and unassuming at the same time. Little did you know the sway you already held over my trembling heart.
You were what I needed – for all of time – but I refused to let myself see the truth. Instead, I plodded along in my great aloneness.
Of course, I inwardly cursed myself that I planned to choose my friends, my life, and him over you. That I would never be free to sit with you over a coffee – or a juice box – across a table, and let you enter my heart. I used your father as an excuse for what could have been the greatest failure of my life – the failure that would have sentenced me to a great aloneness for the rest of my days.
You may have had no idea of the struggle raging inside me. Or maybe you knew all along. But I refused to let you see who I truly was. I was bound up by society’s ideals and my own sense of pride. My adamant refusal to risk getting hurt or being told I was wrong – that I didn’t live up the the standards – nearly led me to choose this great aloneness.
Proper manners ordered me to dismiss you cooly, as though you had not already captured my soul. They ordered me to keep our conversations to the business at hand – ending your life – when what I really wanted was to take your tiny, chubby baby hand in mine, forever. They whispered in my ear that I was not good enough, that you would not want me as your mother if you knew.
I feared taking a chance that would risk my heart. I shook my head at the daring ideas racing in my mind. I rejected courage, and my heart beat in solitary confinement. But it is I who imprisoned myself in this great aloneness.
But only for a time.
I am not one to give up so easily. I ride on the wings of hope. And I am comforted by the power of prayer. Perhaps my courage has taken its sweet time to surface, but it has come to me at last. I believe, my child, that you are worth risking my pride, my comfort, my convenience, and even my life as I know it. And now I am actually willing to act on my belief.
I can only hope that you will reach up your tiny hand, smile at my world – and at my very soul – as you take your first breath on the day of your birth. Welcome to my world, little daughter. You are here to stay.
Editor’s Note: This is a portion of an article first published at The Lost Generation on September 20, 2013, and is reprinted with permission.