Dearest Daughter: 14 years 10 months 14 days

Dearest Daughter,

I’m sitting in Panera Bread trying to figure out what to say in this month’s letter.

I’ve been thinking about you a bit more frequently lately. Probably because your birthday is in a month and a half. You’re also starting high school soon. My heart sort of skips a beat every time my co worker talks about her daughter and niece who are also going to be high school freshman in a few short weeks. I dunno why baby girl. I guess because I remember how nerve wracking it was not to be at the top of the totem pole anymore. It gets easier but the first few days require more than just a little adjusting. 

I’ve tried asking your aunt/grandmother about you and what you like to do buuuuuut it’s almost like trying to reconnect a severed limb with her. She gives me little to no information so I probably know just as much about you as you may know about me. I can hope you know who I am but there’s just no telling what the family has told you.

Sigh anyway… It is my sincere hope you’re okay baby girl. I hope that life so far has been everything you’ve wanted and more. 

I love you always and forever,

Mami

#LoveWins

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I started this post as a mild “in your face you ratchet closed minded religious conservatives” type rant. I was so completely and utterly caught up in the moment in other words I was in my usual wickedly horrible unpredictable “think before I do or say” mode. I fiercely typed out my rant as I sat waiting for my oil to be changed at the Jiffy Lube. I let word after word flow from my pseudo political activist brain through my long piano fingers to my WordPress app on my iPhone 5s.

I didn’t care about the possibility of the person sitting so close to my right being able to read every word I typed in my post. I didn’t care whether or not he was a supporter of the LGBTiQ community. I caught the writing bug and I needed to release everything before I lost it. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the said previous rant like version of this post; which perhaps might have been a good thing.

To be completely honest, even as I am now starting to write the thirteenth version of this post, I still cannot find the words to say about the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. I can say that I’m overjoyed that high court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage not because I’m a huge fan of marriage but because I feel like everyone should be able to choose for themselves whether or not to live in matrimony and misery. It made me happy to know that once and for all the great country I’m proud to be a citizen of would finally progress into the 21st Century. That all persons born in or become naturalized citizens of this country would indeed be granted all basic freedoms equally and protected under the law regardless of who or what a person claims to be.

Boy was I delusional and jumping the gun.

I forgot where I live. I forgot what type of family I came from. I didn’t think about any of those aspects until I saw my sister’s Instagram post Saturday afternoon. I didn’t think about her still being as close minded as the religious conservatives who run the State of Texas. I thought we were past the bigotry. I thought she had evolved and opened her mind.

I thought wrong!

Picture it. It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. I’m not really doing much. Just lying around as I normally do. I logged into my Instagram for the umpteenth time that day and I see this:

 

I honestly wasn’t surprised by this post because deep down, I already knew she felt this way. I already knew that the battle I had with her way back when would somehow revive Itself I just didn’t know when or how.

I’m not going to bash my sister for her beliefs as she is very much entitled to her opinions and is free to express them however and whenever she pleases. She’s grown and fully capable of making up her own mind. Who am I to stifle her beliefs and thought processes? Who am I to reject her for who and what she is even though she rejects who and what I am?

You guys weren’t expecting that were you? Read between the lines and move on.

——

I’ve never been the type of person to flaunt who or what I am flamboyantly. I’m very much an advocate for being and staying incognegro at all times. I speak when I have something to say or when I’m around people who make me feel safe and at peace. I’m just a girl who wants more than anything in this world to be accepted for who she is as a person. I do not wish to be chastised for being different or for not fitting into a stereotypical mold someone who knows nada about me places me in. I do not wish to surround myself with folks who says one thing to my face and another behind my fucking back. For me, that is a deal breaker in any relationship.

So imagine my dilemma having a sister who feels and believes one way and me another especially when it comes to the LGBTiQ community. Imagine not being able to trust whether or not what your ‘best friend’ of 20+ years is really and truly your best friend and biggest fan. Imagine having a rush of loneliness engulfing your every being because now you don’t know who you can be your authentic self around. This is the absolute worst feeling in this world.

This feeling isn’t just my own but is shared by thousands LGBTiQ persons everywhere. Religious conservatives wish to prevent anyone who does not fit into their conservative Christian mold from enjoying the same freedoms they take so much pride in. The conservatives feel homosexuality and same-sex marriage are abominations in the eyes of The Lord. They say God is saddened by the SCOTUS decision. They say that same-sex marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage and will send the wrong message to children. Yet the divorce rate among heterosexuals is constantly increasing. Yet there are sick and perverted men, like Josh Duggar, who are straight and active in the church that molest young girls. There are straight men and women who have sexually transmitted diseases who don’t give a fuck about who they infect.

I’m so incredibly tired of religious conservatives using God and the Bible to justify and rationalize their blatant discrimination against the LGBTiQ community. How do we even know for sure if God is angered by homosexuality? Did God tell you so? How can a deity that stands for love and understanding possibly be upset when we were ALL created by the same person? Certainly when God created the human race, he (or she) knew who and/or what each individual would be when we grew up. Certainly a God of love would love us all the same and not pick and choose who is worthy of his or her love and mercy. Isn’t that why Jesus preferred to be with the sinner than the person who thought he or she knew it all? Is that not why the Bible says love thy neighbor as ye would be loved?

I have an extremely difficult time believing that God punishes us solely because of what we are. I refuse to believe that a book written thousands of years ago by man is the end all be all of human existence. Yes, there are passages that can provide comfort and peace for any situation but at the same time, these stories were written in a time that is not our own. We don’t know the entire context of the stories of the Old Testament to take them as literal as religious conservatives do. And yet these are the passages we teach our children. How can we expect the future to behave as God would have them to if we teach them that God only loves a certain type of person? God, at least the one I’ve understood to exist and grew up learning about, loves us all the same. Regardless if a person is gay or straight; black, white, red or purple; male or female; sinned or sinless; love is love and it should be shared by all and not just to a privileged few.

Thanks for reading…

 

the southern yankee 

Dearest Daughter: 14 years 9 months 3 days

Dearest Daughter,

You are officially three months away from your fifteenth birthday and and maybe two and a half months to the start of your freshman year of high school.

I’m

Sooooooooo

Not

READY!!

I know you’re not with me. I know I’ve missed your entire life but you’re still my baby. You’re still very much a huge part of my life. You’re the reason why I make certain decisions. Why I try to position myself on a path to propel my career because as I’ve mentioned before, I want you to be proud of me. I want you to understand why I had to make the decisions I made when you were born and throughout my life.

I assure you I’m doing my best to not make giving you up for adoption seem selfish or in vain, even though I’m out sure there’s anything I could really do to remedy that. I’ve imagined our first meeting over and over and over again. Each time it was a different scenario. Each time I felt even more uncertain about your reaction than the previous time. I know I can’t do that to myself but it’s what I think about. It’s what I feel. It’s what I imagine when my co worker talks about her daughter.

One day we’ll meet. And I’ll totally ill prepared for the moment. I’ll fumbled over my words. Probably curse waaaay more than you’re use to with your parents. I apologize now baby girl. Yo mama curse like an effn sailor! It’ll be awkward because I’m slightly awkward and weird. Perhaps we’ll bond on the similarities of our personality. Perhaps this meeting if it happens will be less scary than I’m anticipating. Perhaps just perhaps you won’t be as angry and hurt as I have made myself to believe.

At least I hope….

Mami

Dearest Daughter: 14 years 8 months (EXACTLY)

Good evening baby girl,

Exactly 14 years and 8 months ago you were born in Waco, Tx. LOL I remember thinking my baby is going to be a Waconian. Jesus lawd noooooooooooo! It’s not a bad place but when you were born Baylor hadn’t fully taken over Waco yet. Businesses closed at 18:00 everyday. It just wasn’t the Baylor metropolitan it is today. Be proud of your hometown though. With the athletic success of my Baylor Bears, Waco is finally on the map.

Anyway, my mom tells me you were just inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. I’m so very proud of you. I always knew you’d be an intelligent child. As your auntie said when I told her, like mother like daughter. I haven’t even officially met you and I feel like we’re more alike than I ever even imagine. I know, being that you are a teenager, I’m sure you’d rather not be like your mother but you are honey. Perhaps more than either of us will ever know.

Speaking of being like me, since there are only four more months until your fifteenth birthday, have you started counting down and reminding people that your birthday is coming up yet? There’s nothing more joyful or exciting than a person’s birthday. It’s your very own holiday and everyone makes a big fuss about you and your birthday. What’s special about your birthday this year is that you’ll be 15 on the 15th in 2015 which doesn’t happen to very often. Man, you’re going to be 15! Where did time go?!?! So much time has passed and yet time seems to stand still when I think about you.

Hope you had a great day in school today. I’m sure you’re counting down the days, hours and seconds until the last bell rings on the last day of school. I was the same way when I was your age.

I love you dearly!
Mami

Dearest Daughter: 14 years 7 months

Dearest Daughter,

In five very very short months, you’ll be fifteen years old and a freshman in high school. Lawd have murcy where did the time go? It seems like yesterday I was pregnant and fussing at you to stop treating me like a soccer ball. Of course, I don’t know why I would fuss because you wouldn’t listen and if you did, it only lasted for a few minutes. I swear you were practicing for the Women’s FIFA World Cup.

Speaking of those endless soccer matches, do you like and/or play sports? If you do like sports, please tell me that you dislike the Dallas Cowgirls. I know you grew up there but it would just break my little football loving heart if you liked the Cowgirls. Yes, you’re entitled to like whatever team you like but to know you and I could possibly share the same loathing for the Cowgirls would me so very happy. *wink wink*

All jokes aside, I can’t help but wonder how many similarities we share.

For example, I absolutely love to cook. One of my dreams is to have a huge gourmet kitchen and spacious dining room so I can host dinner parties. I’m no Susie Homemaker but there is something very comforting about cooking and sharing one’s kitchen creations with other people. Plus it would be nice to pass down recipes to you and your siblings if and when they will come someday. Unfortunately, my baking expertise is more limited than Tony Romo’s ability to take the Cowgirls to another Super Bowl. yaaaaaaaaaaaaas i had to throw that one in I’m not a bad baker but I’m not a pastry chef like your Uncle Anthony and your Aunt Eva (one of my best friends from high school). My tummy is rumbling just thinking about all their wonderful pastries.

What about singing and dancing? I can’t dance well but I’ll do anyway because I love it so much. My singing voice isn’t as good as it used to be. I try though.

I’m not going to even ask you about music. I imagine you and I would differ about music just as much as my co-worker and her daughter, who is four months younger than you, do. Just because you’re my child, I already see the sideways looks you’d give me about the music I listen to because I’d give your biological grandmother the exact same look. Whatever!

Oh baby girl so many questions yet I’m not sure when if ever they will be answered. Sometimes, I have to force myself not to think about you because I cry every other time I do. I see so many teenagers with their moms and/or dads and wonder. I wonder what you’re doing at that particular moment. I wonder how our relationship will be. I wonder if we’ll ever have any sort of relationship at all.

Truth be told I’m so incredibly scared to re-enter the family because I don’t want to hurt or confuse you. I’m afraid you will hate me for not keeping you. I’m afraid whatever answers I give to your questions won’t be enough. I’ve read way too stories about first meetings. Yes there are some good ones that end or progress happily but there are others that well… Those are the ones that scare me the most. No, I don’t know what the future will hold. And no, I can’t predict it. But that doesn’t mean I’m any less afraid.

Hopefully, if you ever read these “Dearest Daughter” letters, it’ll help you understand who I am and what you mean to me.

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.

When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.

I guess you’d say

What can make me feel this way?

My girl (my girl, my girl)

Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).

I love you always,

 

Mami