They are my daughters, they are not my daughters

„She’s your daughter“, my mother commented, when she saw my newborn daughter. How can she tell, I wondered but felt a warm feeling of bliss run down my maltreated body. „She looks like you“, the pharmacist said a couple of weeks later. „A mother cannot see this“, I answered. And in fact, I still consider this to be true: A mother only feels the overwhelming happiness of having a child, no matter what it looks like. Nevertheless – for some reason that I could not explain, I was especially happy about these remarks. She’s my daughter and she looks like me! It was as if this made her especially precious, even though I loved my firstborn just as much who very much resembled her father. They both were bold as babies and my ex-mother-in-law kept saying: „Too bad, that they did not inherit your beautiful hair!“ Let’s just wait and see, I thought. And besides, there are more important things in life than the structure of someone’s hair.

The older my daughters became though, the more I realized that they have both: Beautiful hair and a beautiful mind. They have, which is even more, a distinct inner strength and self-confidence. They seem to fear almost nothing. They do not care what others say, they just do what they feel is right. Apart from their outer appearance, they are not my daughters. I was a timid child, afraid to speak to strangers, afraid even to speak to people whom I knew. It literally took me centuries to develop self-esteem and the ability to be at ease when being with others. It just feels good that obviously I succeeded in not passing this on to them.


„Emmi’s hair is kemp“, a friend said when she was about four years old. „Just like her mother’s“. Well, thanks for this charming compliment, I laughed, but there is some truth in it. Especially in summer, her hair feels and looks like straw. Rough. Light. And so does mine, except that mine is grey by now.

A couple of months ago I sent my friend a picture showing my daughters in our church. The older one is a teenager by now, the younger one will soon be. „You can see Paula in her smile“, my friend wrote back, meaning my firstborn daughter and all of a sudden, it felt like a circle had closed. They are my daughters and they are not my daughters. This is how it’s supposed to be.

(Written as a contribute to The Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis).


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