From the very beginning of her reality, I wanted to establish a healthy relationship and friendship with my daughter. During my pregnancy, I came across an article by Iyanla Vanzant that talked about “in womb trauma.” In the article, Vanzant discusses how a child starts establishing relationships (and trauma) months before he/she is birthed.
I may not be the best mother in the world and I know I will fall short more than I get it right. I can say that I have been very intentional about making every attempt to make sure that I provide my daughter with a happy, healthy, and peaceful experience while on this Earth. At the very root of this human experience, I wanted to show her a healthy and authentic relationship. Even while in my womb I wanted my voice to be her calm in chaos, to be her measure of restraint and fortitude against all things negative.
From the very beginning, I wanted her to know that I am her very best friend. While in the womb, I would read, talk, sing, and pray with her daily. I made sure that she felt seen and wanted. Since postpartum, I have only heightened our relationship through intentional development. I take that little girl with me everywhere. I want her to be a part of every facet of my life. I want her to truly understand, see, and feel what authentic friendship feels like. I want my daughter to shape her independent idea of friendship and use me as her sounding board for developing healthy relationships/friendships. I call my two-year-old my little best friend because she is.
This reality is a far cry from how I was raised. My mother often told me that she wasn’t “one of my little friends.” As an adult, I can now see that she was merely attempting to establish a level of respect but sometimes our words have unanticipated actions. I internalized her words to mean that she was not my friend. I thought that the relationship between mother and daughter was something other than a friendship.
Mother/daughter relationships are difficult to manage because we often eliminate the basic concept of friendship from the dynamic of the mother-daughter relationship. My daughter is my lifeline. She is the first person I want to see when I wake up in the morning and the last person I want to see at night. Her happiness and spiritual well-being are more important to me than anything in this world. I pray for her with sincerity and petition God to bless her more than myself. I share my life with her. I share my journey with her as she shares hers with me.
My daughter though still very little teaches me something about myself or living just about every day. And that is was authentic friendship looks and feels like. I have a legal obligation to provide her housing, food, clothing, and education until she reaches 18. But it is out of friendship and authentic relationship that I will be her secret keeper, a listening ear, cheerleader, number one fan, study buddy, travel companion, nurse, teacher, and so much more. I choose to be her best friend and I am excited about our journey together.
All pictures posted on this blog post were captured by my 8 year old god daughter, Kylie Elizabeth Walden. Thank you, Ky. We love you.