Monday, July 11, 2011

Born this Way

Five years ago today at 12:07 p.m. my life began.

Okay, not literally as I was born in September a lot more than 5 years ago, but still I truly believe my life started on July 11, 2006. On this day 5 short years ago, I became a Mom, and the world was made a little more fabulous and a little more pink by the arrival of one little girl, my daughter J.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. We checked into the hospital at 6:00 a.m. after I begged and pleaded the day before for someone to induce me. The Pitocin bag was hung, they were ready to induce, and then a problem. All the ultrasounds were showing that J was a very large baby (10 pounds plus) and she was stuck under my pelvis. Options were given and weighed and at around 11:00 a.m. they wheeled me off to a c-section.

The time in the operating room is still crystal clear as well. I can remember Todd walking in dressed in his surgical gear. I was terrified as I had no idea what a c-section entailed. Then I heard the doctor who was assisting say “Look at all that BLACK hair”. Todd and I both looked at each other strangely as I have blonde hair, Todd has brown and no one in our family has black. I then heard the precious cry, turned to Todd and said “Is she a girl?” (as we knew she was but I wanted to make sure). Todd cried and said “Yes, she’s a girl”. They cleaned her up and brought the 8 lb, 6 oz beautiful baby girl to me. Right there, my life began.

At that time, I had no idea who J “was”. For example, I didn’t know that I was holding Miss Fashion who still rolls her eyes at me when she sees that I dressed her in yellow and blue (to use up my gender neutral clothes) for the first few months of her life. And I still haven't told her that I didn't put her in a dress until she was over a year old (she'd kill me for that). I didn’t know as I painted her room purple that pink was her signature color. I knew I would love her, but I had no idea I was looking at my best friend. And boy oh boy I had no clue I was holding a little Diva! For example, I may have been stressed out about having to have a c-section, but if I know J she planned that on purpose because a smashed “birth canal head" would not look good in her first photo opportunity. Bottom line: I had no idea what I was getting into with this little girl.

But over the 5 years she has graced this world, I have gotten to see who J truly is. I now see the intelligent, articulate, artistic, kind girl she is. What I love now about 5 year old J, is that I can really start seeing who she will be as she grows. During her infant and toddler years, like most kids, J went through 1000 phases: The Elmo phase, The Dora the Explorer phase, the I won’t eat anything green stage, the fear of water stage, the Disney Princess stage, and our current stage: The Rockstar!  But as these 5 years have passed, J’s personality has really started to form. I started to notice that as each phase passed, parts of her personality remained in tact. The true J remained long after the baby toys were sold or put away.

And I LOVE her personality. Everyone can say they love their child, that’s a given, but I can truly say I “like” her. She has one of the most interesting personalities I have ever come across. She’s unique, fun, spirited, and a true original.

Now true she gets her dark hair from her Daddy and her green eyes from me, but over the years it became clear that J is not like Todd and I. She is a total girly girl, whereas I grew up a tom boy (with some hints of girlyness). Where does she get that? She is a total artist, who can draw better than me at age 32. Where did she get that? She is a scaredy cat, where most kids barrel down slides without fear, she sits back and thinks it through before gently sliding down. Where did she get that? She has a great sense of self-esteem, she knows what she is good at and isn’t afraid to show it. Oh how I wish I could be that way.

The great thing about J is that she walks to her beat of her own drum and no one, NO ONE, can change that beat. For example, Todd (who is a huge sports fan) couldn’t wait until one of his children were old enough to play sports. He put J in soccer but after about 3 games of her sitting on the sidelines crying “I just want to dance”, Todd laughed it off and realized he'd have to wait a few years to have an athlete. When she’s playing with other kids and says she likes something, if the other kid says “I don’t like that”, instead of switching to be like other kids, she says “Oh, I DO, I’m sorry you don’t”.

She’ll dance in the street when other kids are too shy, she’ll wear her wedge sandals to the park even if gym shoes are more suited for play just because they match her outfit. But even though she is girly, she is no wall flower. She stands up for what she thinks is right, and will meld her personality to fit in with situations or people she is with.

So over the years I stopped questioning the origins of her awesome personality. She is just J. Plain and simple. She doesn’t get her spirit from me, or her father. She, like her idol Lady Gaga, was simply “born this way”.
So happy birthday Miss J. I don’t think you will ever truly understand what effect you have had on my life. I credit you with starting my life, you made me a Mom, made me who I am today, and always save me from fashion disasters and bad hair days! I cannot wait to watch you grow. Rock on little Diva!


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