When–at sixteen–you lie in a gown on a railed bed and labor to bring forth a life, the stakes are high. In between peaks on the monitor you notice the sideways glances of nurses. You can almost hear the judgements running through their heads–the disapproving sighs they stop just short of. When–at sixteen–you watch that second pink line creep across that tiny window, already the odds are stacked in opposition.
My pink line made all the difference. Like the Almighty Hand through Moses’ staff, it parted a sea wherever I went. The telling bulge of my teenage belly was my own modern day leprosy.
There are good reasons for all the support groups and outreach programs; I don’t discount that. But eligibility for them is like a stamp on your forehead: doomed to fail.
I was opening mail at the kitchen counter last week when I came across the letter. Congratulations it said. Your daughter’s accumulated GPA qualifies her to graduate with Honors. It’d be a lie of omission if I didn’t own up to tears–happy ones. Because hers is an altogether different kind of eligibility.
I was in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s days later when she texted me a picture. The orders were delivered and she couldn’t wait to try it on.
It’s most definitely her accomplishment. But a little bit mine, too.