When I found out I was pregnant, I found myself uttering the same words my mother said when she was pregnant with me, “I really want to have a boy.”
My husband, family and I were convinced that I was indeed carrying a boy (they would hide knives -for a boy- and spoons-for girl-under seat cushions and see where I sat. God Bless Hispanic Mothers.). So, imagine my reaction when (after eight months of not wanting to find out…there’s a post about this*) my doctor's office mistakenly reveals that my loving baby was, a girl. I CRIED.
I cried because -screw up aside-in my heart of hearts, having grown up a bit of a tomboy, I’ve never really felt like a “girly girl.” So, for me having one was utterly nerve-wracking.
But…there I was. I was facing what had always been one of my biggest insecurities.“How can I possibly be a mother to a daughter, when I’ve never really felt all that feminine?”
Let’s be real here. I didn’t learn how to put makeup on until my best friend became a makeup artist and taught me. By then, I was already in my MID-TWENTIES. Lip gloss and eventually mascara, were my versions of putting on makeup. And clothing?? While a dress and a pair of heels are lovely, I am 100% a Timberland’s/Nike and sweatpants kind of girl. I like comfort, okay?! Taking all that into account, I asked myself, “How could I possibly be in charge of raising another female?”
I’d let society and old school norms get the best of me. Uncomfortable in my skin, I’d let fear convince me that I was unfit to raise a daughter.
AND THEN SHE WAS BORN…
The moment I looked at her, I knew that I would have to confront what, to me, was an inadequacy. Cue all the nagging thoughts:
“You should probably fix yourself up and throw on some makeup; this way, she can see how it’s done.”
“Maybe you should wear more dresses and actually look like a woman, instead of being so frumpy.”
“Look…she just gave birth and looks way better than you. Why can’t you be more like that?”
They came like the steady drip of a leaky faucet. The same, “look at her, then look at you” thoughts I had throughout my adolescence. I couldn’t shake them. Then one day, in full diaper change mode, she reached for me, grabbed my face and said:
“Mami ju so booliful!”
I cried because, in that very moment, she had indeed managed to make me feel beautiful. (Even with the shitty diaper in my hand.) To her, I was beautiful because she could see the manifestation of my love for her. And when it’s she and I, nothing else matters to me. She humbled me. It’s like I waited for twenty some odd years for that validation, and it came from the best, most beautiful and sincere source. She is changing me day by day. She forces me to take a good hard look at myself and work on those areas in which I may be lacking. She reminds me that being beautiful on the inside matter’s way more than the foundation and eyeliner I am not applying.