I remember your birth with great joy.
I suppose those first steps in motherhood were halting, but I didn’t realize my own youth and ignorance. I lived in the euphoria of first love. Closing my eyes I can almost smell the softness of your baby skin. I can feel the wisps of hair on my cheek and see your tiny miraculous fingers as they spread…reaching for the newness of life.
But I can also feel the panic rising through my chest when you cried and I couldn’t soothe you. My uncertainty envelopes the pictures I carry in my heart of walking into the kindergarten on the first day. Of watching you on athletic fields or speaking at graduations. Would you be okay?
Nowadays I look at you with confidence in who you are. I know that you are thoughtful and capable and discerning. I see that you have lived and are living your life with grace.
And so I can rejoice. Literally..
Our life path as mother and daughter has not been without bumps and curves and belly-dropping dips and rises. But it has always moved us forward. Today, just knowing you are there buffers any problems, heartaches, and sorrows..
You are a pillar of my life. Our conversations buoy me up and calm me down. We can’t sidestep suffering. We have losses in our lives. But when worries arise for either of us, I hear your voice and am assured that we will make it through. You will offer me guidance if I need it. I will stand with you.
Strange, isn’t it? In those early days I didn’t foresee this give and take. If I thought about it all, I probably saw myself as your “Mother” forever. I had not yet seen the fullness of a relationship that is built on years of shared trust and experiences. I didn’t realize that I would learn more from you than I have ever been able to teach you.
Thank for the sweet memories, dear daughter. Most of all, though, thank you for being my teacher and friend.
My only child is a son. We celebrated his birthday last month and I wish that I had written something like this for him!
Ramana, you can use what you like to jump start just such a letter, my friend. xxoo