Photo by  Chris Francis

Photo by Chris Francis

On the day I was scheduled to find out the sex of my child, I already knew I was carrying a girl. I was hoping for a boy and had a full name picked out, however, I had only decided on the girl’s middle name. Rhondamarie: a combination of her deceased grandmother’s first and middle names. Choosing a namesake is actually why I knew what I would be having. There is something about energy from the ancestors that is undeniable. Yet, I still held out hope until the very last minute that they would be overpowered and my desires would be made manifest. So, when the nurse asked what I thought I was having and mentioned that mothers always know, I proclaimed that it was a boy. As if speaking it then would make it true. Nevermind, that I texted my partner just minutes prior saying it was going to be a girl.

And there she was. Clear as day on the sonogram: female private parts spread out in full glory. As if to say, “I’m all woman. Already.” I looked at the screen and said, “The nerve of you!” I had known, yet I was no less shocked. To be completely honest, I was scared and feeling a mild sense of panic. I had been wanting a boy, because I love the doting, mother and son dynamic. Though I had yet to acknowledge it, I also wanted a boy because ignorance really is blissful.

I don’t know much about being a man. Though not at all true, I rationalized that my unfamiliarity would equate to less things to worry about. Yet, here I was.. having a daughter. A part of me was saddened, because I knew the struggles of womanhood first hand. I already knew the type of pain she would endure simply for being born as what some consider the inferior sex. I was already challenged with things I couldn’t protect her from, and she wasn’t even outside of my womb.

Still. Larger than all of these things was the realization that I was responsible for nurturing her into something I was still becoming: a woman. In birthing my daughter, I would become her first example of womanhood. My day to day would become her personal how to, and I was so fearful of coming up short. Of being found human and contradictory. I was already drowning under the weight of accountability.

With authoritative figures so commonly being able to articulate instruction but not demonstrate it themselves, I feared I would find myself among that number. Someone suggesting a way of living that they didn’t practice. Someone with more advice than evidence of said advice in their everyday living. And I wanted more than that. For myself and for my daughter. So I began the work of becoming a woman worthy of being looked up to. A woman I wouldn't be weary of seeing her become. In birthing her, I birthed a better version of myself. And, so we became. Together.

To be continued...