There’s a part of this past summer that I haven’t been completely open about and people around me have been saying that I should address it, as it’s as much a part of parenthood as anything else. As a parent, or any person for that matter, we shape peoples perception of us by choosing what to share and what not to, based on our own preferences, fears and isms. In todays social media society we can do it more than ever before by telling the stories and narratives that are appealing to us. Some things are more difficult because we’re afraid of judgement, looking weak or vulnerable.
When Ean was born, as soon as I laid eyes on him I could “read” him. Maybe because he looked just like me in my baby photos, maybe because his character is very similar to mine, maybe because he was a boy; I don’t know with complete certainty why but I “got him”. Even though he always gravitated towards his mother, even though to this day he still chooses her over me in all instances, there’s just a connection there that’s been there since birth.
When Ana got pregnant again and when we found out it was a girl, I immediately was hit with doubts, fears and insecurities. When around friends, I always used to make the same joke about gender of kids; that with boys you have to worry about one penis but with a girl you have to worry about everyone else’s! I acknowledge that this fear was a part of it but it wasn’t all. I tried to face my issues well before she was born and I did the classical “as long as the baby is healthy” mantra that didn’t seem to make any difference. Bringing a girl into this world felt like a punishment to her, until I started focusing on all the amazing women who are kicking ass around the world today and those who came before them. Okay, that helped, I was going to raise my little genius gentle warrior and teach her all she would need to get ahead in this crazy world.
Then, she was born. Okay, it’s a girl, she’s perfect and she’s going to be amazing. Wait, are those blue eyes? In intimate quiet moments I found myself staring at her. She didn’t look like me, I mean she looked nothing like me and as I looked into those big blue eyes I couldn’t find myself in her anywhere as I did with Ean and it scared the shit out of me. It got worse.…