Dear precious girl,
When I look at your little face, here’s what I see.
Your round cheeks, your hazel eyes, that tiny nose that turns up perfectly at the end. The mess of wild hair around it.
I see the essence of who you are, the spirit of you, as well as the physical you. The carefree little girl who loves to cartwheel and jump from the furniture like a spirited, naughty fairy.
When I look into your eyes, those eyes I’ve known since birth, those eyes that grew inside me – a mirror of your uncles.
I see you, my creation. But I also see a mystery, the mystery of you.
I created you, but I can never fully know you. I can never be inside your unknowable mind, the way you were once inside my body.
You are your own master, even now. Even while you still need to protect you and shelter you. Even when you need me to hold you, sleep by your side and kiss the ‘h
You’re not mine. You’re not my outpost in the future. You’re your own person, your own unique you.
You’re not just something that happened to me, an event in my life. You’re a miracle of the universe, and you belong only to you. Remember that please.
I can only watch and guide you and hope that my mistakes, my misunderstandings, my inadequacies as a mother haven’t and don’t prevent you from being who you need to be.
Be only you. Be truly you. Be only who YOU want to be. I ask nothing more or less of you.
Nothing anyone says, even me, is more relevant, more important than your own hopes and desires. Your own callings. Because you’ll have them.
Let no loyalty to me, let no expectations you think I have of you, ever stop you from following your true path, from being authentically you.
I will try not to throw expectations in your way, expectations that restrict you, hamper you or tone you down – no matter how well-meaning they seem to be. Because they would be about me, not you. And you cannot live for me, you can only live for you.
- I’m an atheist, but you don’t have to be.
- I’m a socialist, but you don’t have to be.
- I consider myself a feminist, but you can find your own way as a woman in this world.
In the end, the only person you have to answer to is yourself. Not me. Not any god. Not society. Only you.
I hope I’ll be able to show you the width and breadth of possibilities and opportunities that lie in store for you. So that you don’t see only a narrow path of limited options.
The possibilities really are endless, but also unique and specific – to YOU sweet girl, to you and the passions that ignite inside you.
I fear that my influence and presence in your life so far has been far from perfect. But isn’t that to be expected? Perfection isn’t even an option, let alone a sensible objective in life (remember that too!).
When I decided to have you, in my trademark arrogance, I vastly overestimated my ability to cope alone.
Single motherhood would be tough, I thought, but I’m a strong and independent person, I’ll be fine.
But I was wrong.
I fear that more often than not I’ve been erratic, stricken by anxiety, stressed out, stretched beyond my limits, and frightening inconsistent. And for that, I’m deeply sorry. Sorrier than you’ll ever know.
I’d like to be able to say I’ve done my best, but I fear I haven’t. I’ve merely coped however I could, and tried to learn from my mistakes – eventually. Ultimately I’ve had to admit that to be the best parent I can be continuing alone is not the best path for either of us.
Until you arrived in my world I had no way of knowing just how much you would test me, challenge me – and I’m afraid you’ve found me wanting. You exposed me for the fragile, imperfect human being I’d always been – but never admitted to.
You taught me self-awareness, humility and how much I really do need those around me.
I’ve always fiercely protected my independence, even considered myself above needing anyone else’s help. But now I see that for the lie it always was.
You exposed the truth of who I really am – who I really needed to be. You showed me how to invite other in – your wonderful granny, your uncle, our dear friends – how to share the load.
You’ve taught me how to be vulnerable and that revealing your truths brings others closer.
Thank you, my dear girl, for all that you are and all that you will be. If you can see past the mistakes, the harshness, the selfishness or your imperfect mother, I hope you’ll see me for who I would like to be and will continue to strive to be.
- A mother how loves you fiercely and unconditionally, no matter what – in a way no-one else ever will.
- A mother who is doing her best to show you how powerful it is to be a woman in this world.
- A mother who demonstrates daily that while none of us is perfect we can all continually strive to improve ourselves, to learn and to grow.
- A mother who tried to open your eyes to the world around you, to experiences outside of your own.
- A mother who teaches you compassion for those who are not like you, or even likely to ever be part of your experience, because our world is not the whole world.
- A mother who wants you to be exactly who you are, no matter how displeasing that may be to me or others.
- A mother who will not judge you, lecture you, limit you or dissuade you from being yourself.
- A mother who will give you the freedom to be exactly who you are. Wonderful, imperfect, intoxicatingly delightful, you.
If you ever resent who I am, what I did, do or say (and who doesn’t resent their mother at some point or another, or at many points!?) – know this…
I could have done better, I am more aware of that than anyone.
But of nothing in life do I feel prouder than that I created you. That I brought you into this world. Me. All by myself.
I imagined you. I longed for you. And you came true.
No matter how far we roam from each other I will always be at your side, and in your heart, holding your hand and encouraging you to be true to yourself. To follow your own instincts. To be yourself. Only yourself. Always.
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