It was a beautiful day here in Michigan. Honestly, I hardly ever find myself saying that… but here I am. Sunny with a high of 79ish(?). No clouds in sight. Gorgeous.
After I dropped my son off at school this morning, my daughter and I came back home, like we usually do. We had a snack and cuddled up in bed, watching her favorite show The Wiggles.
Her eyes were getting heavy. She was getting more and more comfortable laying there. I so badly wanted to lay there with her, but I planned on us going to the zoo after she woke up so I had a list of things I needed to accomplish. I changed her and put her in her “big girl bed” (it’s a twin with a guardrail). I told her “night, night” and off to Dreamland she went.
She ended up sleeping just long enough for me to get everything on my list crossed off. Upon finishing lunch, we packed up our backpack and headed for the zoo. When we arrived, I asked her what she wanted to see first. “Flies!!!” (She can’t say butterflies yet.) So to the Butterfly House we went.
Every time we go in, I look at her face to see the reaction she gives whenever a butterfly comes really close. She loves it so much and seeing her face light up over something as small as a butterfly, brings tears to my eyes. If only all happiness was that easy.
We spent a little extra time just walking and holding hands between the different animals in the various areas of the zoo. We even did some of the attractions. Just took our time. We even had our own conversations. I have no idea what we talked about but she was having a good time. I loved every second of it.
However, I will admit that sometimes I love every second of something a little too much. I am one of those moms that is obsessed with taking pictures of their kids. I spam the hell out of my Facebook friends with em. Every day. Just pictures of my kids. And yes, I am totally guilty of taking more pictures of my daughter than my son right now, as I am with her so much more. But I promise you, I love them equally.
When I went to plug in my phone once we had got home, I stopped for a second and looked at some of the pictures I had taken throughout the day. It made my heart so full. But then as soon as my heart was full, it was empty. I was left with a pit in my stomach and tears in my eyes. The picture I had fallen in love with from earlier that day had caused my breathing to abruptly stop.
I stared at the picture of my daughter and myself that I had taken while at the zoo. I saw so much of myself in her. She has my nose, my eyes, my large-ass forehead, my weird upper-lip tucked smile and definitely (already) some of my personality. It scared the hell out of me.
Then I thought… what if she’s like me. No, no, no, no… I will do everything to make sure that doesn’t happen. But what if I can’t stop it? What if she turns out just like me? She would go through feeling unwanted and unworthy of love. She would push people away that cared about her most. She’d try to take her life several times. She would say such mean and horrible things to me, that I would question if I was a good mother to her. She would put herself in countless dangerous situations and would be lucky to live through it all.
No, no, no. God no. Not my baby girl. Don’t let her turn out like me. I tell my husband that I worry about it all the time. I can’t have my children turn out like me. My son is too smart, he will get through the rough time we are having right now. He will be okay. I know he will. And my daughter, she can’t be like me. I will help to educate her when she is old enough, just like my son, about the importance of maintaining good mental health.
I know I can’t protect my babies from everything, but I don’t want the topic of mental health to be something that is awkward for them to bring up. I want them to have the resources should they ever need them or know someone who does. All I can do is prepare them and educate them as best as I can. I want them to feel safe and loved.
I called my mom to tell her of my discovery with the picture and she replied, “yes, she’s going to be beautiful just like her momma ❤”. And that was all I needed. That was all the reassurance I could have asked for from the person who means the most to me. After all I’ve put my mother through and all I’ve gone through, my mom still sees me as beautiful.
Once my worries were laid to rest, I thought about my daughter’s future and how she is going to be able to accomplish whatever her little heart desires. I hope she chooses to live her life to the fullest. I hope that one day she will look at her daughter or son and see the same in them. But that future is a ways away. For now, I will enjoy the moments I have with my daughter (and son) and save the worries for when they come, if at all.
“Tomorrows worries take away from the joy of today.”