Dear Daughter,

Let’s face it, this Mother’s Day gig is more for businesses than for your mom. Your mom would rather hang out at home than bustle elbow-to-elbow with corsages, pastel dresses and Waldorf salads. I don’t need this day, because being your mother is a privilege and a joy.

I didn’t always think of parenting like this. I grew up believing it was drudgery, dirty hands, noisy squatters who were just bearable – little uncontrollable monsters who made life worse. Children were unending responsibility and to do lists. Maybe that’s why I waited so long to have you – I had to realize that there was another side to the story.canstockphoto13603068What no one told me about was the joy. The joy of watching you grow big and strong and confident. I watched you run across the soccer field this week and felt tears well up. My mind jumped back in time to when you first learned to crawl and then walk and then run, laughing as I would chase you about the house singing “We are the dinosaurs”.

No one told me how much I would learn – about myself, about others and about how to see the world around me. No one told me how much better I would want to be as a human being, in order to be a good example. No one told me I’d spend an afternoon pouring over bug books to figure out what we saw on a walk or sewing a Robin Hood costume because you wanted to be a character in a book.

canstockphoto12183648No one told me how much I’d laugh and giggle at your antics or how much pleasure I’d get having you snuggled up against me, talking about nothing at all. There’s no chapter in the books that would tell me how I’d watch you from the kitchen window, my heart overwhelmed by a song you belted out happily while going back and forth on your swing.

No one told me that when I read a story about the loss of a child, that I’d feel a weight on my chest and a fear creeping at the edge of my mind. No one told me that I’d stop what I was doing, find you and be so grateful for the moment. And that for many moments after, I’d feel my breath catch at the thought of losing you.

There have been many challenges along the way. Most of them had to do with sleep. But those baby days are growing distant in the rear view mirror and here you are, in braces, happily chatting away about this cool computer program you are writing. I am often stunned by how grown up you sound.

You amaze me each and every day with your kindness, your enthusiasm and your open heart.

I don’t need a day. I’ve had years. And I hope for many more.

Love, Your Very Lucky Mom

14 Comments on “Dear Daughter,

  1. Beautiful! Absolutley true and beautiful. From one lucky Mom to another, continue to enjoy the miracle that is our children. Namaste

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    • Thank you – I do. I think the convergence of middle age with this particular phase in my daughter’s life makes me acutely aware that I need to be present and soak it all in.

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  2. When the scene is set with a edge of honesty about the challenges, the joys described seem to reach so much deeper. A most enjoyable read perhaps because my parenting memories resonate the same.

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  3. So lovely. I’ve always been thankful that I didn’t have children. First, fearing the damage I’d do as a bipolar mom, then learning that I’d most likely pass on the illness. So many ways to screw up a little person. But I think about the love and joy I’ve missed there, too. Trade-offs.

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    • For the first 30 years of my life, having a child did not seem in the realm of possibility or really, a priority of mine. I, too, have worried of not only passing on genetic maladies, but of raising a child as I was raised, since I didn’t know any better. 3 years of parenting classes, therapy and a whole lot of work and I’m here now. It was not a fluffy unicorn rainbow journey. But the kid’s alright.
      We just had a conversation about her choices, talking about having a family, etc. Being the old sage I am, I said “It doesn’t matter what choices you make – it’s learning how to appreciate where you’re at.” I have friends with and without children – it seems that they are equally happy/unhappy. Not trade-offs, just choices.

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