I share my daughter with two other women.
My daughter looks a bit like me, and she loves being outside like my wife. She is determined and stubborn like me, and she loves chocolate like my wife. She likes to color and draw like me, and she likes to build things like my wife.
Like all moms of kids her age, I look at my daughter with wonder and imagine what her future will hold. I try to balance my hopes for her between the traditional measures of success that I sometimes feel burdened by, and the measures that I will try (and probably struggle) to instill in her, like balance, contentment, and doing things that bring meaning into her life. For now, I will tell you this: my daughter is beautiful, for the way she thinks, for the twinkle in her eyes when she is making a joke, for the way she cries when her friends skin their knees, for the way she explains that she is angry or sad or “so happy to see you”.
My daughter is amazing, and she wouldn’t be my daughter if it wasn’t for the amazing and ultimate sacrifice of a woman who chose to make it so.
I also share my daughter with that woman, the other woman. A woman who made an impossible choice – a choice that is so often judged, badly portrayed in media, and misunderstood. This woman, who is not my wife, is another woman I love. And I barely know her. But she wanted a different path for her baby, and she decided we were that path. I don’t know this woman well, but I know her heart, and it is generous and brave beyond measure. It is fierce and steadfast and stronger than steel.
I also know this woman’s daughter, because she is mine, too.
With eternal gratitude to my daughter, my wife, and the other woman, I celebrate National Daughter’s Day.