I can’t believe it .. first graduation, now this! Where is the time going??
I remember when we were thinking about having a 2nd child – I actually planned for 3-4 kids, but after the marriage breakdown I was completely happy with my two girls. Their father, on the other hand, was happy with just one. He told me one day, “I’m scared I won’t have enough love to go around” – that quickly changed the second he saw her! We planned her for a LONG eight months! I just seemed to never get pregnant, no matter how much we watched the calendar, I moved in different positions … you name it, we tried it. Then the pee test came back positive and we told Alyssa immediately so she could be part of it all. She was ecstatic at the news and the thought of being the big sister.
Ashley was only 2 when her father and I split up. It was hard for her … she wanted so badly to have a ‘daddy’ in her life, but he just wasn’t good for us … not with his mental instability and drinking. It was hard on me and eventually the girls would have suffered. I did growing up with an alcoholic father, so I broke that cycle and I’m so glad I did – it was a good choice.
Ashley was ALWAYS such a bubbly kid growing up … it started going sour around grade 5, as far as I know .. she may tell you differently, but that’s when I noticed it. The kids started making fun of her teeth – yes they were a little crooked and there were a lot of them in her mouth, but she was just too young at that time for braces. She took everything to heart … and it started taking a toll on her .. she’d beg me for braces. It wasn’t until grade 8 that we were able to start preparing her mouth for braces. I was never so happy to see them come off her teeth! It was August 2011 – she was entering 11th grade with the perfect smile.
I was so excited at this because she didn’t have a good grade 10 year at all! She was bullied the whole time and fell into a deep depression – for the whole month of January she spent it in bed. I lost my bubbly girl. She was struggling so hard to find herself … society wanted her to be one way and she wanted no part of it … she wanted to be herself and I couldn’t be more proud! I know the rest of the family wasn’t quite on board because they just didn’t understand. It was probably around the end of grade 10 where I started to question her sexuality. I think that’s what she was struggling with the most … maybe she didn’t understand herself what was happening so I wanted to help her get there. I’d sit in her room and encourage her to be honest with herself … when I’d ask, “would you prefer to date boys or girls” – she’d come back with, “whoever is around at the time”. What confused me was I’d see things or hear things that showed otherwise – she was admitting to her friends that she was a lesbian, but telling me other things. I’m not sure why she’d lie to me … I was always approving of her no matter what … I just wanted her to find someone who’d treat her well and keep her happy. Did I care what anyone else thought?? Pfffttt .. no … she’s my girl and I absolutely love her … unconditionally.
Tomorrow, my beautiful girl turns 18 .. she has turned into a beautiful, vibrant woman who I think might still be trying to find herself … and I think she’s almost there … but she’ll always be my baby girl …