Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Letter to my Mother
I sit here some nights, once the chaos of the day is fading, rocking and nursing my girls before putting them down for the night, and I let my mind wander. Some nights I reflect on the day, some nights I think about Sophia and Olivia and all of the potential they possess that I hold in my arms, but more often than not my mind wanders back to you, my own mom, and how many nights you must have sat in a dim room at the end of a challenging day and hummed to me and thought about what my future would hold. Tonight I tried to look at my life through your eyes, through the eyes of a mother who loves her daughter. I thought about little me, curled in your arms as the day ends, I thought about school-aged me, full of enthusiasm for the world and all the possibilities it held. Of course, I thought about the me that hurt you, that broke your heart and alienated you and did my best to push you away despite the sacrifices you made and the love you had. Always, always, you were there when I came to my senses, and if you held a grudge, if your love for me ever wavered, I never knew it. Maybe that was why I could rebel, maybe that was why I could take risks good and bad, because I knew at the end of the day you would always be a soft place to fall. Nuzzling my daughter’s peach fuzz covered head tonight I could understand how deeply my ingratitude, my selfishness and insensitivity must have cut you, but I could understand, too, how you could love me anyway. These babies, my daughters, your granddaughters, will live dimensional lives and be their own people. As much as I wish I could sing them to sleep every night, the time will come, probably all too soon, when they won’t need me in that way anymore. They will struggle, they will suffer, they will excel and they will fail, and through it all if my love for them falters for a moment, they will never know it. Thank you for setting an example of unconditional love, thank you mothering me the way I hope to mother my little ones, and thank you for always, always, being there for me at the end of the day.