Her name is Diamond. A name I would have never picked. The name I did pick, Vincent, belonged to my great grandpa who told me through tears to stay in school because he wished he could have, instead of working to support his family as a child. I planned to honor his sacrifice. But what’s that thing about God and plans and laughing at them?
Sometimes I miss my baby. His chunky butt, his manic giggles, his fuzzy head. Missing your baby boy is different. It has this compounded sadness, all of which makes you feel guilty because I still have my child. My happy, healthy child. That’s all we said we wanted. Still.
I realize the sadness, the mourning, has little to do with what was and all to do with what could have been. For me, that was raising a sweet, sensitive, strong, protective, feminist man. I know some of these men so I know they’re not unicorns, btw. And I realize that a daughter could be all these things. I also know a daughter has many crosses to bear that a son wouldn’t.
A daughter has to make sure she isn’t followed to her car while carrying her keys between her fingers. A daughter will always have to water down her ambition with diplomacy. A daughter will be sexualized before she even understands what that means. A daughter could die for her right to an abortion. When I mourn my son, I mourn his privileges.
But like all things, I’m reminded to take them once step at a time. Today I have a daughter. Today her name is Diamond. She is happy, healthy, and here. With me. In my arms. Knowing she is ridiculously, disgustingly loved as she is right fucking now. Compared to that, nothing else seems to really matter. Besides, if I can survive being a woman, she can too.
And another thing. My Great Grandpa Vincent, as little as I think he could have wrapped his head around what it means to be gender non-conforming, gave up his education to help his family thrive. He unknowingly made it easier for the generations after him. He gave us better lives. By being there for my kid, I hope I’m doing the same. That beats a namesake.