(In photo: Me and the kid in 2003, weeks after she was born)
When my daughter was born in 2003, Facebook was not around to show her photos that I snapped every milli-second, nor was Twitter invented so that I could post milestones:
"Baby is breathing now"
"Baby just hiccupped"
"Baby just yawned. And my oh my, how beautiful she looks doing it."
Yes, I was (am) that mother. But, the non-existence of Facebook and Twitter didn't stop me. There were tons of baby sites where I could create a free website, send email alerts and all other kinds of cool online gadgets and widgets that allowed me to be equally annoying and probably contributed to the creation of other widgets and gadgets to automatically block pressed people such as myself. But as a new mother, I wasn't even thinking about all of that. All I knew then was that I wanted everyone to know about my beautiful new life that the creator thought I was important enough to parent, and by any means necessary, I was going to proclaim my amazement with being deemed her mother. I was clearly sprung as a Mommy.
Fast-forward six years later and the status hasn't changed much.
(In photo: Me and the kid at age 2. Digging for gold)
My daughter, Khari, my only daughter, is still the centerpiece of mostly everything I do. Parenting her has impacted the themes I write about as a creative writer, has influenced how I create programming for other children as an educator and has motivated me to create new realities regarding the work/life balance where mothering becomes a revolutionary act within the face of a fast-paced world that covertly seeks to determine your priorities without your input.
She has clearly put a mark on me as a person. Her life has strongly directed the movement of my own life. Outside of the womb, she still impacts my feelings, concerns, emotions and thoughts and I share this often and openly with others when discussing how mothering as an action is one step beyond the idea of "having kids".
As my daughter now grows as an independent entity, what is interesting to watch is how my influence on her determines certain choices she selects for herself. From the outside looking in, I can see parts of me reflected in her ideas about food, music and clothes while her overall image is one of a very self-directed and strong-willed individual with personal insights and opinions she has generated on her own. What I never tire of is her interpretation of her love for me as her mother.
She is not old enough to use Facebook or Twitter, or even write a blog but, instead, she updates me on her love with her own special stylized updates in pictures, drawings, songs and poems she writes for me.
"I love my mom"
"Mom you make me smile and sing"
"I loooveee you Mom, oh yes I do!"
And, with each love letter, original Khari visual art piece, gentle cheek kiss or tugging hug, I am reminded of something new each day-- that my proud, overwhelming and everyday love and fascination for my first-born is reciprocated by her to me in her very own way. And the newness never dies.
(In photo: Us)
This post was submitted as an entry to the January 2010 MyBrownBaby Beautiful Mind Writing Contest