I posted this on Facebook and to my utter astonishment, it was well received. So, I thought I would share it here, kind of a diary notation my daughters can read and ponder in the future. So if you’ve seen it already, my apologies.
Whether you birthed a child, or just possess all the qualities of a Good Mother, you have a profound impact in the lives of (your) children…
Mother’s Day is a very difficult day for me, in regards to being a daughter. I spent many years dreaming, fabricating, pretending what it would be like to have a mother like those I see all my friends post about. She never existed for me. Hopefully my daughters will see some of me in these words. I wrote this to my imaginary mother last Mother’s Day, but I was too ashamed to post it, ashamed…because I don’t feel the way I should about my mother. I came across it last night.
Mother’s Day is over and I’m through with shame…
A Letter to my Imaginary Mother
When I was a babe, nestled warmly at your breast, or swaddled motionless in my crib, the sights and stimuli around me were nothing but a blur. I couldn’t really distinguish color other than the contrast between black and white. My world consisted of sensation…warmth, dryness, a full belly, and touch ruled my abstract environment. But then you came into focus, putting your face close enough for me to see the brilliance of your smile, the sparkle of love in your eyes. I could hear the purr of your voice, a sound particular and distinct to you, a sound I heard when we shared a heartbeat, and knew it was you, immediately. In those moments, I knew you were mine.
As mobility became imminent~rolling side to side, creeping and crawling, scooting and sitting hard, reaching for that elusive handhold affording me the stability to stand on my own, you were there, assuring me that you’d always be there to catch me. You praised me lavishly, making me aware of the monumental task I had achieved. You made me feel I deserved a Pulitzer Prize for my efforts, falls notwithstanding. I knew you would always catch me. I knew you were mine.
You showed me how to share, even though I was sure you were wrong that it was “the nice, and proper thing to do.” You showed me how to play fair, how to take turns, not to hit, not to bite, and how to use my words to make my feelings known. You were teaching me to be a good person. I knew you would love me no matter what. I knew you were mine.
You walked me to the bus, assuring me all the way that “everyone will like you,” and “you’ll make loads of friends.” You were there to greet me when I came home, listening as I cried and told you, “you were wrong.” You dried my tears when kids were mean. You danced and cooked and played games when my true friends came over to play. When nightmares crept into my sleep, you pulled me to you and slept with me through the night, a warm and loving cocoon keeping me safe, keeping all the monsters at bay. You were my protector. I knew you were mine.
As I grew, you let me discover myself~ my talents, my likes and dislikes, the person I was starting to become, the person others were beginning to see. You stood by in the background, silent and ready to comfort as I entered the difficult and confusing world of puberty. You were there to rejoice in my first love, cry with me as it ended, trying to fuse my broken heart back together with your own love and understanding. I could see the pain in your eyes as you dried my salty tears. Then you sent me back out to do it all over again, hopefully wiser and stronger this time. Your eyes were the mirror for me to see my own beauty. You showed me how to see myself through your eyes. I knew you were mine.
Milestones come and go~ the beginning of school, a first friendship, a first kiss, a first love, a first dance, a broken heart, high school graduation, the first day of college, an engagement, a wedding, and birth of a child…and yes, even dealing with death. All these firsts began with you being there, showing me the way, showing me what being a Mother is all about.
So when you doubt your worth in this world, your impact as a mother in this life, know this…
The moment we shared a heartbeat, I knew you were mine❤️
Your grateful daughter,