I used to think that there was a black hole inside me that nothing could fill. Then I had a daughter. I remember the first time that I put her to sleep. I was standing, holding her in my arms, rocking her. I was looking at her all the time. She was looking up at me. I began to feel that she trusted me, that she felt safe. She must have done because her eyelids started closing little by little, and then she was asleep. That’s a good memory.
I think about my daughter now, and what she was spared. Sometimes I feel grateful. The doctor said she didn’t feel a thing, went straight into a coma. Then, somewhere in that blackness, she slipped off into another deeper kind. Isn’t that a beautiful way to go out, painlessly as a happy child? Trouble with dying later is you’ve already grown up. The damage is done. It’s too late.
Do people like that bring their daughters out? I thought they just sold them to the highest bidder.[about the Russells]
Whenever I have a bad dream, I just think of a happy time. In fact, I think of a happy time with you. I think about the day you were born. You know, for the longest time you were growing inside of Mama’s belly. And then all of a sudden, poof. You were right there, looking back at me. And then the crazy part was you were already you. I remember the hospital bed. I remember the blanket around your little face. It was 4:00 a.m. and the whole city was silent. No meetings. No e-mails. No pretending. It was just you and me. And there was nothing wrong anywhere in the entire universe. I wish we could’ve stayed there.[to June]
When I look at you, I see all of you. I see every Kate you’ve ever been, every Kate you might still be. Yeah, you might not have been an easy daughter all the time, but you’ve always, always been easy to love.[to Kate]
This is it. She can finally go to Harvard like she’s always wanted and get the education that I never got and get to do all the things that I never got to do and then I can resent her for it and we can finally have a normal mother-daughter relationship.
That’s the difference between raising a son and a daughter. All you do with a daughter is just try to keep her from getting screwed. All you do with a son is try to keep him from screwing himself.