– by Jill Greenwood
When you were born, I wasn’t too sure how everything would play out. Things were looking pretty bleak in the world as they were on the home front. But then you came along, and things started to brighten day by day. The world was still a fairly shitty place, but I was 90% sure that things would be okay because if there was one thing that I knew it was how to be a girl.
Raising two girls was going to be a piece of cake. There would be no Barbies in our house. You could have a doll as long as there were trucks, too. Fairy tales were going to be nontraditional. You’d play soccer and enjoy it. In my revisionist history, this makes perfect sense. But let’s be honest. You had more Barbies than most toy stores. Your doll house was epic. And I couldn’t have made it through the week without at least two Disney fairy tales. Soccer? God, I hated those games. Besides, you both looked far cuter in a tutu than you did in cleats. Some strong, feminist mother I turned out to be, right?
I’ll let you in on a little secret: moms are fucked up. Go ahead. Let that percolate in your brains. Chat with each other. You done? I’ll say it again . . . we’re fucked up. Who was I kidding about not letting Barbies in the house? I yearned for the neon pink boxes before you were born. Hell, I think I had more fun with your doll house than you two might have. I even justified dance lessons with teaching you how to walk into a room with more confidence. All dance lessons ever did for you was have your asthma confirmed faster than it would have been without.
Last night, just for shits and giggles, I watched the video I put together for your 20th birthday even though I knew the outcome in advance. At some point during the course of the video – probably around the three minute mark – I’d start to tear up. And then, slowly slowly slowly, a tear would fall and then another and then another until I was a blithering idiot again. But last night was the first night I figured out why it happens at that point every time. That’s the time where you begin to resemble who you are today.
Independent. Beautiful. Opinionated. Smart. Funny. Stubborn. United. Bad ass . . . women.
The tears don’t actually flow until 5:38. That frame of one of you scowling sets it off because the next two are utter and complete joy. And in that joy, I see all the promise that your futures hold. Whatever you want out of life, seize it. Make it yours. Blaze your own trail and run with it. I can guarantee you this – there’s a family of women (genetic and adopted) who will share in your struggles and revel in your accomplishments. These are the women from far and wide who will back you up to the point of insanity. Who will take your side in a fight. Who will run to WaWa at 3 AM for an egg salad sandwich. Who will tell you what an asshole he was. Who will hold your hand waiting those three minutes to see if there is a plus sign or not. Who will laugh about your grade school crush and then stalk him on Facebook. Who will encourage you to be the best you can be.
How can I guarantee this? Because these women were there for me . . . they will be there for you, too.