Long before she was here, I dreamt of her. I always thought I wanted a boy. Having a boy seemed easier, less messy and I could skip all of the fucked up mother-daughter bullshit. I was convinced that the codependent relationship I had with my own mother would bleed into a tiny girl’s life and I wanted no part of it.
The moment I found out I was pregnant I knew she was a girl. I knew she was a girl inside my bones and only a handful of times, questioned my gut. I have written and rewritten this piece since before she was even a month old.
I needed to wait and I needed time.
I needed time to study her, to feel her, to smell her, to listen to her, to feed her, to learn her.
I mostly needed time to just be her mother.
Sometimes I still don’t fully grasp my title.
I. Am. A. Mother.
There are only a handful of things I am absolutely sure of.
I have an addictive personality.
I am passionate.
I am Scarlett’s mother.
Something happens to you when you become a mother. Boy, girl, doesn’t matter. Neither is better than the other, becoming a mother changes every cell in your body.
However, I can only specifically speak to being the mother to a girl.
Oh, that girl of mine.
The word “love” is an undercut, a gross misrepresentation of what I feel for her.
Make no mistake. The codependency I referenced earlier? This ain’t it. I’ve never wanted anything more than for Scarlett to know I love her, unconditionally and with no end. However, I never want her to know the crushing weight of codependency.
Never like the one I had with my own.
I grew up waiting for the bottom to drop out, for her to leave me. I was convinced that she would disappear at any moment and I felt like I needed her in order to live.
I know without a doubt that she felt the exact same way about me.
When I was a child I would cry hysterically, sometimes making myself sick when she went out at night. I was 100% certain that I would never see her again, that I would somehow have to learn to live without her.
I needed her and I didn’t just love her.
It was desperate and needy, modeled behavior.
She wasn’t just my mother, she was everything I knew.
I need something more for Scarlett.
My love has no limits but there’s so many things I need her to understand.
That it’s okay.
That she’s going to fall on her face and that’s okay.
That she owes me NOTHING.
That when I tell her it’s unconditional, I really mean it.
I am her mother but I’m not her world.
Not even if she makes mine go ‘round.
An extension of me, an actual living, breathing piece of my body that walks on two legs, but she’s not mine.
I said it, she’s not mine.
She’s more than that.
She’s whatever the fuck she wants to be and even though I made her, she isn’t indefinitely mine.
But she isn’t mine and I don’t want her to be.
I want her to just be Scarlett J.