This is my “D” contribution to the “A to Z Challenge.”
You know how parents like to throw around the insult “I hope one day you have kids just like you?”
Well, whatever voodoo curse I was hit with MULTIPLE times as a child and teenager, and adult – it stuck. And I have not only one clone, but two.
To be perfectly frank, the idea of kids both thrilled and TERRIFIED me – the closest I’d come to a baby growing up was my sister. Considering I pretty much ignored her until she was able to chase after me, I don’t recall much of her baby years… WITH the exception of this HILARIOUS story, which I may have to tell you later since it doesn’t really relate to today’s post topic (don’t worry, I won’t forget about it, MWA HA HA HA HA HA).
So when I got pregnant with Persephone, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I mean, I really lucked out in the pregnancy department: no morning sickness, no food aversion (except the smell of browning beef, which I found out the hard way when I almost lost it making dinner), and no weird food cravings… except that time I really wanted White Castle, bought a Crave Box, ate 2 burgers then froze the rest of it and never ate them ever again. But I digress.
As the due day approached, in one of the hottest summers ever (August is the WORST), I was starting to really feel my pregnancy. My feet had swollen to Elephant Man-esque proportions, I could never stay cool, and I was almost constantly awake because she was kicking and squirming LIKE CRAZY.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, she decided to stay in there… for 3 days. And when I say that, I don’t mean that my labor started 3 days past the due date, oh no. I mean I went INTO labor on her due date, and STAYED in labor until 3 days later, at which point I just wanted to kick her out for overstaying her welcome.
It was all worth it – SHE was worth it.
Persephone was our everything for a long time – we toyed around with the idea of another kid, but I kept pushing it off.
“Let’s wait until after she’s out of diapers.”
“Let’s wait until I lose the weight.”
“Let’s wait, let’s wait, let’s wait.”
And then suddenly, I was tired of waiting – I WANTED a baby again. So, as we prepared Persephone for Kindergarten, so too did we prepare ourselves for another child.
In fact, I wrote a blog post about Seraphina when she was 4 months in-utero, and funnily enough, I described my Persephone pregnancy almost the same.
The Seraphina pregnancy was almost the exact OPPOSITE of what I had with Persephone. Food aversion? Oh yeah. Heartburn? So bad some nights I was afraid to move for fear I would just cough up stomach acid. Weird body sounds? Honey, there are noises my body made that made ME blush.
Perhaps the cherry on top was the labor. I thought 3 days was bad with Persephone – I should have known better.
Seraphina took the cake by keeping me in labor for 5 days – you read that right – FIVE DAYS. Thankfully my parents were able to step in and help take care of Persephone when we had our numerous “is she? isn’t she?” visits to the hospital.
However, Seraphina came right when she was supposed to: during the Witching Hour, under the full moonlight (the biggest full moon for the next 45 years), with little tufts of hair on the tips of her ears. My werewolf baby had arrived.
Now I realize that I turned this post into a bit of a birthing story, instead of making it about what the real topic is: daughters.
I find it ironic that I had two girls the same age difference as my sister and myself. I also find it funny that they are mirror images of us in the little tricks that they do to one another, whether out of love or overwhelming hatred.
Persephone is sensitive, helpful, intelligent, emotional, and friendly. She’s a total Daddy’s Girl, loves Legos and Minecraft, video games and getting her nails done. She also currently acts like every annoying teenager from any sitcom in the 90’s.
Seraphina is bubbly, funny, tough, smart, and kind. She’s my little buddy, loves Hello Kitty and her Komasan (from Yokai Watch), painting and playing house. She is also at the “mimicking” stage of her development, which drives Persephone INSANE and makes Thomas and I laugh.
Each of my kids reminds me of myself, and there are so many times that I look at them and think to myself:
Jesus Christ I hope I don’t fuck this up.
And I feel like that’s a justified response, right? I mean, with any kid you want to make sure that you’re raising them right: teaching them to be polite, to try new things, to be kind to people and just generally be a decent human being.
Growing up, one common phrase in our house was “What’s the Golden Rule? Treat others as you want to be treated.” We don’t necessarily use the exact same phrase, but it’s the exact same principle: put out into the world what you’d like to get back.
Knowing that I have girls to raise will present its own challenges over the years (Thomas has told me on numerous occasions that when the “body talks” come up, that’s all on me, which is fine), but at the same time, I have a feeling that my daughters will be okay.
My daughters. My two little girls. Two of the most frustrating, hair-pullingly exasperating bundles of pure love and joy that I could ever have the good fortune to call my own.
I love you Persephone.
I love you Seraphina.