My Daughter

July 30, 2013 by Christina Moon  
Published in Beauty

This short story depicts the challenges I faced throughout my pregnancy up until my daughter’s toddler years with an emphasis on my love and appreciation for my daughter.

Daughter, you moved into the home of my womb when I was only 18 years old toward the end of my high school senior year. From the moment of conception, I knew my life had made a turning point, so when the second line appeared I was not surprised. Since freshman year of high school, I had been the valedictorian of my class, and now I had to focus on your future as well as my own. Soon there were days I was too sick to make it to class, and my wonder shifted from would I graduate top of my class to would I graduate at all. I told my teachers about you; their eyes inspected me up and down gravely, saying my name in a disapproving, downcast manner.  Beginning to show rather quickly, I was also soon subject to the stares I received walking through the hallways. Some people congratulated me, while others dramatically informed me that my life was over. None of these reactions could shake me, and I walked around with a smile on my face and my head held high. Sometimes I’d even poke my belly out to make sure people knew I was pregnant; you, Daughter, were my motivation.  I was now living for the two of us, and when graduation day came, I made my valedictorian speech as a pregnant young lady full of life in more than one way. I also proved to an array of doubtful spectators that “life” can befall anyone and that the valedictorian most certainly can get pregnant, and of course she can still be successful if she strives to be so.

Summer arrived, and as I waited to begin my freshman year of college, you grew and grew and made Mama very proud. Visions of our future and a plan for us unfolded in my mind. I maintained our health and future with loving determination even though life around me was spiraling out of control. My step-father’s alcoholism was damaging our family, and relying on his income made no tomorrow certain. My best friend at the time moved in with me, which I foresaw as a good thing, yet slowly but surely she brought all her “friends” with her, and soon my home was flooding in chaos.  All around me there were drugs, fighting, parties, you name it, and there I was, Daughter, still protecting our space. When my head wasn’t buried in the toilet, I was getting a good meal or trying to rest. Some mornings my sleep was cut short to the thundering of loud music blaring through the house. Some nights my sleep was cut short to the discourtesy of my “friend” bringing a party home with her or taking a new man to sleep with her in our bed. I remember opening our bedroom door to drugs and cans of booze littering the floor and an assembly of drooling men congregated around my friend.  Some days it was even hard to get enough food; I’d open the fridge to tumbleweeds blowing out, the emptiness a product of her friends’ greed. When I saw the extent of the intrusion this “friend” had made on my life, I sat her down for a talk and told her the chaos had to stop or she would have to leave. Had I not agreed to let her stay for financial reasons on our behalf, Daughter, she would have already been out the door. The chaos, however, did not stop, and when my mother, lacking the spine to make her leave, refused to put her out, I did so myself, and once again, we had peace Daughter. It was amazing, though, how being surrounded by all those people made me feel so alone. You became my best buddy, and I talked to you every day.

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