Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Birth day

Tonight as I was putting my daughter to bed I pulled out her framed picture from the hospital and told her how it was a picture of her on the day she was born. I held it up next to her face and she smiled. She said, "Who is that baby?" And I told her it was her and that she was looking at me in the picture. My daughter pointed off to the side of the frame and said, "You were there?" And I said, "Yes, I was."

I am really surprised at how emotional I've been since I did that. It stirred something up and I can't put my finger on it. Oh, I know it has everything to do with my son and not having the follow-on memories. I think part of it is still feeling like (and fearing that) someone was going to take her away from me. And part of it is looking at a picture of a second newborn of mine that seemed too perfect to have come from me. Yet another child I didn't deserve. Nothing about her newborn picture looks anything like me - the shape of her head, her widow's peak, her nose - almost as if God was mocking me.

I love my daughter very, very much. And I still miss my son immeasurably. I realize he will never really know me, even if he one days reaches out for contact because all his childhood memories are from another family, a completely different upbringing. At least I was able to choose that for him and he has had a good life so far. I only hope that I can manage to be a good mom to my daughter. It's really, really hard - the patience, creativity, energy and self esteem a good mother needs is sorely lacking here. I keep thinking everyone else in her life does a better job and she needs more right now than what I can give her, that it's time to give up the part-time job and go back to work full-time, let her have the structure and instruction in a full-time preschool program.

I just don't know. Doubt creeps into my decision making process and I feel that I am abandoning her if I put her in a full-time program. If others are with her the bulk of her day, five days a week, who is really raising her? But I can't go on the way it's going now - doing my best and feeling like it falls short every day.


Blogger Jay said...

I can only imagine that having the experience that both of us have, would make anyone a very nurturing mother. I'm sure your doing a great job! Mothers always feel like they should do more, that's just the mothering instinct.

I think that's so sweet that she asked you if you were there when she was born.

1:16 PM  

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