Sunday, May 13, 2012

big girl, little things.

Dear m,
Thank you for making me a mother....for letting me borrow that title for a while and for letting me wear it with so much pride. You have given me the honor knowing what it feels like to be a mom and given me the gift of knowing that I can do this. That when I am unsure if I want to have children someday and that when I am unsure if it is possible to risk that much of love and that much of heartbreak, you have reminded me to be an example, to dig deep and to just have faith.

Because it was worth it, because you were worth it. Even if I had to write it all over, I would repeat your chapter in my life. You have given me a sacred glimpse of parenthood, the love, the joy, the fears....the soul crushing terrifying acceptance that it is possible to lose it all but that I am so much better because of it.

You have changed me in so many ways and you have shaped my relationship with the children we might have one day. To never take things for granted, to always say I love you, to have loud sing-a-longs in the car and to let you dance in the aisles of a theater as they're playing the end credits to the best song ever! To nurture that childlike awe, to just say yes to putting up a pink Christmas tree and then to let you keep it up just a little longer. But most of all, to always be in the moment, to always be present.

I have learned how important it is to take a break during a busy busy day and stop in for a lunch date at school, to always make sure I show up at a recital so that when you look across the room to find me, that I am there, to have one-on-one time and to listen to all your stories, because somewhere weaved in there are all your hopes and fears and dreams, and somewhere in there you are learning that you are heard.

I know that because I have seen your face light up and break into the biggest grin ever, I have seen your confidence grow and watched you pay it forward, I have seen how incredibly important those moments were to you. To bake a cake together and to get flour all over the kitchen, to silence my salmonella fears and let you lick the batter, to let you go to town in decorating the Easter eggs any way you want, even if it meant our eggs turn into a lovely shade of poop brown. Because your pride in those moments, in those moments that we were making memories, is irreplaceable.

The times where we have kept a schedule or done the mundane but precious ordinary blur into a big memory, but you never forget the special ones. A split decision then, but such big life lessons now. Writing out clues to a Valentines treasure hunt, bundling you up and taking you to the zoo, laughing as we try to figure out the walls of the gingerbread man house or the nights where I let you try on all my shoes and makeup, the nights where we transformed our kitchen into a make belief runway for a fashion show. Our special Sundays; just the both of us, to sleep in or to eat an illegal treat at McDonalds, to go to the park and feed the ducks, to stop and run in the sprinklers or to make a picnic of funny shaped sandwiches and organic oreos.

You have taught me the importance of staying consistent, the importance of boundaries and heartache of discipline. I have been the bad guy and I have been the good guy, whether it was working towards goals or learning about consequences. You have given me that honor and I have learned so much. Sometimes failing miserably and sometimes successful. You have taught me to color outside of the lines and to celebrate coloring outside the lines, you have taught me to use my imagination, whether it was the gourmet meal you "cooked" with sticks and flowers from our backyard or if it was trying to find a better way to help you understand a math problem.

I have learned to answer the hard questions, to answer with kindness and to do it with love. To be honest but to be sensitive. You have reinforced my values and my beliefs, of the lessons I want my children to learn and of the values I hope they prescribe to. You have taught me the importance of an apology, no matter if I am the parent or if I am older, you have taught me how important it is for a child to know that it is okay to make mistakes. You have taught me love, and you have taught me humility. You have taught me acceptance and letting go. You have taught me patience, and you have taught me joy.

You have taught me the gift of being a mom, and that will forever be a part of who I am and who I'll be. You were not from my womb, but you grew in my heart, and I am so so proud of who you are. Thank you for this lesson on parenthood, and on this Mother's day, thank you for letting me walk in those shoes for a while.

I love you m, you are missed and wherever you and wherever you're heading, I wish you the world.

Happy early birthday stinker, I remembered!

"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever."
~Keri Russel