The beginning of this week has been an emotional one for me. I never thought I’d be one of those moms that cries at every memory. (Not being one of those moms has been a recurring theme-I guess I am one!) A few weeks ago I started looking at baby pictures of my little girl. Yesterday as I dropped her off at her summer day camp, I couldn’t stop the tears as I drove away. I remembered taking her for the first time 2 years ago. What’s going to happen to me when she graduates high school? I guess I’ll be a blubbering mess then and I’ll embarrass her. Maybe I can get it together before then. I still can’t believe that 4 years have flown by.
Sunday night, the night before her birthday, I felt a wave of emotions cover me from 2011. I remember how anxious I was to see her little face. I was scheduled for a C-section due to her being breach. My doctor said they would do one more ultrasound to make sure that she hadn’t turned-she hadn’t. My parents were nervous for me-I’d never had any sort of surgery before. The excitement was enough to keep me from being utterly terrified. well, that is until I saw the surgical lights in the operating room. I suddenly felt like I was on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and I was the subject at hand. As they told me to relax and tried to slide the needle in my back, I winced and cried like a baby. They asked if I felt pressure or pain, and I cried and said pain..pain!! At the end of the second try, I knew I had to give birth and I needed to be numb in order for them to cut me. I prayed and asked God to give me the strength to relax (a strange prayer I know) and it worked! I should’ve done that from the beginning. Once I felt the numbing meds, I asked myself why I didn’t relax sooner.
They told me the procedure would be over in an hour, and they weren’t joking. I laid down on the table around 8 AM and at 8:33 I heard a tiny cry. They held her above the sheet and I quickly counted her fingers and toes and was overjoyed that she looked like a healthy baby girl. I was shocked that she was so pale, and that she didn’t seem to get much of my genes but I laid down and let the medicine take over.
The next few days in the hospital I spent my time staring at her in wonder and amazement. How could this plump faced, sweet little ball of perfection have grown in my belly? I was utterly smitten.
One of my friends joked with me later that week that her phone was acting up so she had to get a new one and all of her numbers didn’t transfer. She got my text with a picture of Melody and was trying to figure out who sent her a picture of a white baby. I laughed, but it hurt my feelings a bit. When people said that she looked like my husband, I think I was offended because she was so light, not because she had his genes. I didn’t want anyone to question that she was my child. Ladies and gentleman, I was color struck.
Thankfully after all the hard work of delivering via C-section, she finally looks like me!I think every parent wants their child to look like them, biracial or not. However, I’m no longer color struck. God made her with cinnamon brown skin, lighter in the winter and darker in the summer and I’m ok with whatever shade she is. I have to teach her to be confident with how God made her. If I allow what other say to us to bother me, she will internalize those feelings and I refuse to let that happen. There are also lots of other successful biracial people she can look up to. And lots of resources out there for interracial families-like one I stumbled across this week: Interracial Marriage and Family. How exciting is this?!
Now that I’m natural, I take pride in saying, “You have curly hair like mommy.” I hope she never wants to permanently straighten her curls.
Today I have the privilege of being her mom. We dance around, make up silly songs, watch princess movies, take shopping trips and say our prayers at night together. I could not be more blessed when I look at how she’s grown. This year she starts PreK. Hopefully I won’t cry on her first day. She’s been attending a 1/2 day PreK for the past 2 years. I didn’t want her first time in school to be totally traumatic. What an adventure life is. I’m now the mother of a four year old!