Awhile back, my dad told me about the band The Highwomen, a girl country supergroup created in homage to the Highwaymen, a legendary country supergroup. Yesterday, I was listening to the album, which I definitely recommend. Each song is unique and great.
As I drove along in my car, however, I was emotionally unprepared for the song My Only Child. To many people, it will just be another song on the album. But it spoke directly to my heart and made me cry.
You see, it is a love letter from a mother to her only child, a daughter. I am a mother to an only child, my daughter.
The day my daughter was born was traumatic and life-threatening. It ended with a hysterectomy. While I will always be grateful that I survived, the loss of the ability to have more children came with a grief that took a few years to overcome.
For the first few years, I envied families with extremely large families, probably only because I didn’t have the option. I spent time researching and reading books on surrogacy and adoption. I held onto every one of my daughter’s baby items, just in case.
Eventually, my husband and I decided that our family would be complete with just the three of us. I slowly started to give the baby things away. While I was at peace with the decision, that doesn’t mean it did not come with a great deal of sadness.
The song starts by talking about how “I know you wish you had a brother” and “I know you wish you had a daughter.” At some point, every only child asks about siblings. I have explained to my daughter and I’m pretty sure she understands that she will always be an only. I know that sometimes she gets bored with just us parents, but I try to focus on the positives.
The rest of the song is a love song to a child. That is the positive. She is the greatest love of both me and her dad.
The song is raw and intimate. If you also are the parent to an only child, perhaps not by choice, check out the song and have a good cry like me.