There is something infinitely mysterious and significant about having a daughter for a woman. Consider a little human being who walks like you, talks like you, looks like you, puts on your dresses and heels and pearls and make up for play, adores your husband just like you, and contains half of your genes. That is a sure recipe for a mixed bag of feelings. Coming from me who already have two sons and am expecting one more in December, having that one little girl in the middle is nothing short of a mystical experience.
For example, my little girl touched me in a way none of my other children could, because she is in all senses of the word, a splitting image of me. When she was born, she looked like me in my baby pictures, curls and all. In fact, she looked like a cuter version of me, as she has dimples which I did not. When she was two, she looked exactly like me when I was two. And now that she is three…
Apart from my enhanced eyes from tinted contact lenses and slightly glossed lips, isn’t she my mini me?
The most profound experience I had with my girl was when I was playing with her in the hallway and she was rolling a toy car towards me. I am not sure was it due to the setting of the scene, or the angle of sunlight that lights up her face, or the look she has on her face, but suddenly I felt as if I was transported back into time and playing the toy car myself when I was three, and I became my own imaginary playmate, looking at myself. It felt like a cross between deja vu and Back to the Future.
Energetically, my girl is really an extension of me. In fact, I go as far as to see her as the me that I wished I had been. We are both headstrong and wilful and cheeky as a kid, but she was allowed to be herself, when my spirit has been constantly squashed by my over protective and smotheringly loving parents. In order to sooth my oppressed self, I often wished that I had an elder brother to take the brunt of my parents’ expectations and protect me from the relentless supervision from my parents and grandparents. Fast forward 30 years, my girl now has not just one, but two elder brothers. I wasn’t happy with the way my father parented me, and I married a man that was as different to my father as I could posibly find, a man that fulfills my personal wishlist of an ideal father. And now this husband of mine has bcome the father to my children, and most importantly, the father to my girl. Looking at my girl now, is like looking at my own life being relived, but with different significant players in my life.
Even now as I write, I am bracing myself for whatever future she might have to face, which I have been through before. I will have to answer tough questions and make tough decisiosn on the following: Her first schooling experience. (Do I send her to a girls’ school and get finishing touches like a lady or do I send her to a coed school like my parents did for me?) Her first best friends. (Do I stop her chatting sessions after the fifth hour online or do I stop her at one?) Her first onset of puberty. (Do I prep her when she is nine, would that be too early/late?) Her first boyfriend. (Do I let her go on her dates, knowing she might be hurt by that b*****d son-of-a-b***h?) Her first break-up and heart ache. (Do I go break his leg…no that is the job of her brothers.) Her first love. (Do I watch in the sidelines or give unsolicited advice?) Her first job. (Do I give her advice based on my own experience or let her strike it out on her own?) Her first child. (Do I offer help? Do I bite my tongue?) Whatever it is, I know that from now on, my heart will forever be tagged to somewhere else which I have no control, and all I can do is to laugh and to cry together with her, reliving that raw joy and pain from scratch.
And that, to me, as a mother, would be the most happy burden and most painful bliss, to have that honour to see her grow, as I had grown but in different ways, and to relive a life all over again.