After I gave birth to my daughter, while I was looking at her in the first seconds of her life, I felt normal. I’ve never felt normal before, so I inhaled that split second deep into my soul. After a while, after bringing her home the feeling intensified and added a new one: I was proud; not necessarily of myself, it was a feeling I could never describe completely.
Sometimes when I want to quit and everything seems to be too hard for me to handle, I remember that feeling and I look into my daughter’s eyes searching for my normality. I always find it there, waiting for me, caressing my fears, telling me that feeling normal is all I need and she will forever keep it for me. Often metaphoric buses run over me, hitting every wound I tried to avoid or keep hidden, but somehow I’ve always managed to get up and hide the new scars too. But when I watch my daughter play, all those scars are gone and all the buses that chase me take another route.
Today I had an awful day. I’ve wandered the streets of Florence thinking about who I am or if I maybe am just someone I’ve invented, not being even close to the person hiding underneath all the layers. When I got home, Ephia smiled at me and gave me a hug and my sadness started to fade away, but later on, while sitting in her room for a second, she placed her tiny body in front of me, took my face into her small hands and guided my eyes to look into hers. Maybe she somehow knew, or maybe she does know.