I was sitting in a hospital lab this week, having my blood drawn, when I suddenly burst into tears. The lab had a radio playing and "In my daughter's eyes" by Martina McBride came on. I had never heard the song before, and admittedly had to google Martina McBride when I got home to figure out who she is (I'm so removed from popular culture it's frightening), but found myself listening intently. As far from my taste as this song sounded, I could not help but get emotionally wrapped up in it. As the lab technician filled vials with my blood, I was lost in a daydream of motherhood and sobbing (this is far from the first time a song has made me cry while pregnant—here's an example, and another). The woman looked up from my arm confused and I blurted out "Do you hear the words to this song?! Oh, I can't handle it! I'm pregnant with a baby girl right now." She was understandably stunned by the whole thing and awkwardly patted my shoulder and asked me if I was okay. "Yes, I'm fine. I just have more hormones in me right now than an entire bus full of high schoolers."
Hormones aside, I really was moved by the sentiment behind the song—the realization that your daughter will look at you in a way that makes you want to be a better person, that her love for you will inspire you to become that superhero/woman she's put up on a pedestal. I often wonder what will become of me as an individual when I become a mother, and I like to think that I will find more strength, success, and fulfillment when I have a little girl watching my every move. I want my daughter to see a woman living a brilliant, passionate life. I want to inspire her the way I know she will inspire me. As Martina says "I see who I want to be in my daughter's eyes."
It's an enormous responsibility to be a parent. All of a sudden you have a 24-hour audience watching you, learning from you, modeling you, and ultimately being shaped as an individual by you at every moment. That's huge. And I admit, it makes me nervous because it's the most important job I will ever take on….one I can't wait to start.