(by Theresa Wilson)
Starting when she was born and flourishing ever since, I strove to develop a bond with my daughter that could not be easily broken. The bond was there when Destiny brought home pictures she made in school, and I responded with affirmations; when she learned to ride her bike and needed a Band-Aid on her knee; when she was a Girl Scout selling cookies or wanted help with her homework. It was all part of promoting a secure attachment for her later in life. I was her first teacher and mentor.
I tried to give my daughter a picture of what she could become, to challenge her to be a part of something bigger than herself, even to do the impossible. I did my best to channel her in the direction of her interests and personal goals. She learned early in life that her mother is a human being, and it’s okay to be human, imperfect but confident. She also learned to be competitive from me, and to realize that playing just for fun is sometimes an option.
As she got older, I was amazed at the woman Destiny became (and sometimes surprised to see myself in her—in the way expresses herself or how we laugh at the same time). She became more focused on her appearance, as teens do, possibly out of a sense of belonging, although I can relate: I wasn’t concerned with makeup, but loved having stylish clothes, and went out and worked to get them. But what she has become inside is much more important to me: strong-willed, outspoken, but always helpful when others are in need, knowing what she wants and striving toward the best that life has to offer.
Breakfast was often a special time between us, cooking French toast together, or eggs, sausages, and the cheese grits that are part of my Southern heritage. Destiny sometimes watched and listened, and eventually took over herself. It’s these small moments that emphasized the pleasures and helped navigate the challenges of having a daughter.
Theresa Wilson is a freelancer who lives in Tallahassee, Florida. She can be found at Backstage.
(from African-American Heritage Cookbook)
4 T. milk
1 t. sugar
dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
2 slices bread
2 T. butter
Beat egg and milk lightly together.
Add sugar and cinnamon or nutmeg.
Coat slices of bread on both sides.
Brown lightly in hot butter.
Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup.