To My Daughters, On Mother's Day

Dear Z and E,

Before I became your mother, I was worried about so many things.

I was worried that I might not fall in love with you. I should have been worried that I would fall in love with you so completely that I would never sleep, watch the news, think about my life, or walk through the world the same way ever again.

I was worried that you would one day say you hate me and I would feel so mortally wounded by your words that I would crumble inward. I didn't know that I would crumble, not from my own wounds, but from the wounds in you that your words reveal.

I was worried that as a lifelong conflict-avoider, I would never be able to set the boundaries necessary for a healthy parent/child relationship. I didn't know that setting boundaries would be the easy part, keeping them and explaining them and owning them would be the hard part.

I was worried that having daughters would reveal my ineptitude with femininity and womanhood. I didn't know that having daughters would give me an expansive opportunity to reexamine and explore what it means to be female.

I was worried I wouldn't understand your challenges or know everything I needed to know to meet them. Instead, I've struggled to fight my assumption that I know everything about you, to not try to own your challenges for you, to let them be yours and yours alone, and to walk beside you as we figure them out together.

I was worried, somewhere deep down, that I wouldn't be a good mother, that motherhood would reveal my messy, imperfect self, that I would screw you up entirely.

I'm beginning to realize that owning those messy, imperfect parts of me are part of being a good mother.

One day, I hope you become mothers, not just because I can clearly see the benefits of grandparenthood, but also because I see the privelage of being your mother as a highlight of my life.

And if your life path doesn't include motherhood, I hope I am strong enough to let that be your choice, and to keep my damn mouth shut.


Your Clueless But Hopeful Mama

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Exactly. I love this.

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