Wednesday, February 26, 2014

This one.

[I wrote this piece ages upon ages ago when I was really struggling with how to be a good mom, how to be present and attentive and there but still be here, with myself, in my own being. It felt right to post tonight].

She is my girl, this one.

This girl is all lanky limbs and big brown eyes and a witty retort or an observant question. When she wraps her arms around my waist, I can feel her little bird heart beating double time against me.

She's got her eye on everything, she cackles with laughter one minute and pulls the saddest face ever the next. Being with her cracks my heart right open with love. I fear for things that will hurt her, moments when she will bump up against sadness or loneliness or hurtful words dished out by mean women who take delight in pummeling her tender and precious heart.

I carry a lot for this girl.

It's an intense thing to be the mother of a daughter, here in this space of being a motherless daughter myself. I remind myself that everything she sees gets imprinted. I remind myself that I don't have to be a perfect mother, but one that she can rely on. I remind myself that the most important things I can give her are love, proof that I have her back, willingness to sit and talk and work things out, insight into the myriad of things coming her way. I remind myself to tell her that she's dynamite, because she is and nobody needs to hear that more than a small girl.

There is a little part of me that wants to run away from this responsibility. I'm not sure if it's the fear of disappointing her or screwing up or not being the woman that she needs me to be. I'm not sure if it's the desire to balance my one precious life with hers, to give her a legacy of a mother who didn't have to follow the conventional path of sustained sacrifice but found a middle ground.  I don't live the life my mother led, so how do I know how to do this and do it well?

Her small back curved to my side tonight as we read a book, talked and mostly just sat in each other's company. Little spine, hair a tangle down her back, eyes flashing. My heart is so full with love.