The moment I found out I was going to have a little girl, all the possibilities of how my daughter Savannah’s life would develop flashed before my eyes. I imagined her first words, steps, day of school, school dances, car, love, heartbreak, college acceptance — all of the major milestones most encounter throughout the journey of life.
Then I started thinking about her future outside of these romantic ideals; I started thinking about the other important parts of growing up and thinking about my own.
When looking at my own life experiences, I notice that all these imaginings are just perfected daydreams lost in a romantic haze. As cliche as it sounds, when it comes to the real world, life is something that happens when other plans are being made.
When I first met her father, Chris, we were in our senior year of high school and I had just been dumped by my very first boyfriend. I was the shy and quiet girl in class that avoided eye contact with people she didn’t know, who was just looking to finish high school and continue with an uneventful life. I kept to myself and my small group of friends.
Her father, on the other hand, was loud, confident and always speaking his mind. He was my rebel without a cause. I never imagined my story following the structure of complete opposites, and having an electrifying attraction toward each other.
It was not until our prom that he told me he loved me while we were entwined in a sweet embrace, swaying back and forth to the smooth vocals of the female singer covering Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
After high school graduation, we motivated each other to continue with school and attend community college together. He entered the automotive industry while I followed my aspirations to become the real-life Lois Lane.
There have been countless times throughout my school career when I have thrown my hands up in the air out of frustration. The stress of balancing life, work and school would get overwhelming to the point where I believed I was destined for failure. I even considered quitting school and finding a full-time position in retail customer service instead.
Each time my frustrations bubble over, Chris, who is now my fiance, is my voice of reason. He always tells me, “You got this, babe” as he leans down and kisses me on the cheek. With his constant support and my own ambition, I have been able to continue in my studies.
I am thankful for all I have, and my love for Savannah gives me the determination to finish school.
From the moment I found out she was going to be a part of our family, I knew I wanted nothing but the best for her. As she progresses through life, I want to help her develop and create a strong moral compass paired with knowledge of how love works.
I hope my daughter can find herself a partner that challenges her when she is being stubborn and supports her dreams and aspirations, just as her father has done for me.
Although my daughter isn’t old enough for her own romantic relationships — if her father has his way, she won’t date until she’s 30 — in the meantime, she will know the unconditional love that her father and I have for each other and for her.
I hope she doesn’t mind that I found my inner Elton John and put down in words how wonderful life is now that she is in the world.
I’ll wake to my Savannah sunrise, a bright-toothless smile that reaches across my daughter’s entire face out from the satisfaction of successfully waking me up. I’ll kiss her on the cheek and fill her days with love.