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I Should Have Named Her Jewel

On, or about, December 10, 1990, I found out that I was to become a mom … again. Again, being the operative word here. I had already given birth to two beautiful sons, who I adore and who, at the time, were three years old and seven months old. I was thirty-three years young and a single mom already (all my children have the same father). I in no way wanted another baby and all the responsibilities that come with it: another mouth to feed (especially at 2 a.m.), burping, throwing up, dozens of outfits to launder, another car seat (along with the ones I already had). Then there’s diaper bags to carry, bottles to clean (even when you’re a nursing mother, like I was), and of course, more Pampers to buy and change (well, you get the picture). I say more Pampers because my seven month old was still in Pampers and, as a matter of fact, I was still breast-feeding him. You can imagine the news of another child hit me like a ton of bricks.

I recall thinking, “I can’t do this again” … “I don’t WANT to do this again.” Well, the days seemed to drag along and I was still not sure if I would have this baby or not. One day, in late winter, I decided I’d “get rid” of it. I called a clinic, scheduled to have the pregnancy terminated … I couldn’t wait. Just two days before my scheduled appointment, I happened to be home from my job at the Post Office. I hardly ever watched daytime television, since I either worked all the time or was taking care of my two sons. This particular afternoon, I planned on kicking back and enjoying an episode of Oprah. Wouldn’t you know … the topic of the show was the word I dare not speak … ABORTION. There, I said it, but at the time, I couldn’t. I thought, “I’ll watch the show … it won’t change my mind. These people don’t know what I go thru, nor do they have to worry about leaving their small children with a babysitter because they work crazy hours, like I do.” As I watched, I was still determined to have the “A” word. Then, about halfway thru the show, it happened! A female guest on the show did what I just knew no one could do. She made me come to my senses. Of the one hour long episode, I remember just one line: “How could I choose which one of my children live or die?” My reaction: NO, NO … I DIDN’T HEAR THAT!!! Ohhhh, but I did. That one sentence rang in my ears for the next two days. I realized … that is now my dilemma. If I had to decide between my two sons, whom would I give away and whom would I keep? I couldn’t decide that, they were both so special to me. So, how could I ever think of aborting the child that was growing inside of me? This child who, like my sons, is also a product of me and the man I once loved.

Well, I never did keep that appointment. Four months after the airing of that episode of Oprah, in early July of 1991, I gave birth to my first and only daughter. She was perfect, ten fingers and ten toes, and that same cute little chin that her brothers have. I decided to keep with the same initials that my sons have: D.D.B. and because she was born on my youngest sister’s birthday, I named my daughter after my sister.

Fast forward nearly seventeen years to the day of that infamous appointment, my daughter is now a junior in high school, will graduate in 2009 and is blossoming into a beautiful young lady. We don’t have as much time to spend together as we would both like, due to her school schedule and my full time employment, so during the week, while I’m at work, we often communicate thru text messages. This particular day, we had been texting back and forth. When she ended one of her texts, she told me, “luv u mom” (I’m sure other moms are familiar with this new generation and the way they text). Many times in the past, my daughter has told me she loves me, both verbally and in text messages. However, today for some reason, I was overjoyed to see in writing that my teenage daughter really and truly loves me (no matter how she spells it). As I told her, not enough moms can say that … what a sad commentary. 

Every parent should experience the relationship my daughter and I have. Sure we have disagreements, but they’re usually settled quickly and we move on. I thank God for this gift, precious, beautiful and rare, she is. Her name is De-Von, but I should have named her Jewel.

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