I haven’t blogged in forever because #life and #socialmedia. But I feel the pendulum swinging back, and I long again for that space to just write and learn more about myself. So. Perhaps this blog will resurrect; perhaps not. Either way, I wanted to share what I wrote to my daughter today for her second birthday. In this age of COVID-19, may it remind us all of the goodness in us and help us strive for what we know to be true and beautiful and good about ourselves, about others, and about the world.
2 years. 2 years. 2 years.
I cannot even begin to try to understand how 2 years have gone by so quickly. I have tried my best to soak in every day with you because my life is so rich with you in it, and one of the only ways to thank you for that, besides raising you to be yourself and encouraging you to be the truest, bravest, kindest version of you, is to make the most of our time together and try to absorb it all without missing one moment. Which is impossible. But I try.
You changed my entire life, baby girl. You. I never thought I’d be able to have kids. No one truly understood the level of pain and frustration and loneliness that brought. Another part of me wondered if I would ever be a good mom–would I love my baby like I see all the other moms loving theirs? Would I grow impatient at the crying and fussing and changing diapers and incessant questions and talking? Would I be able to give a baby what he/she/they really needed? Would I be enough?
I doubted for a long time that I would be enough.
And then I had you.
And it was as if, for the very first time in my life, the world made sense.
My world was at peace.
I distinctly remember that feeling of complete peace wash over me the minute they laid you on my chest. We belonged together. And my life–all the pain, the struggle, the joy, the doubt–it didn’t go away, but it evolved into an understanding that cannot be explained. I cannot explain any of it, or justify any of it. But I no longer wondered or regretted anything. It just all made sense.
You completely changed my life. You brought out the absolute best in me, a part of me that stayed hidden and in the shadows for so long. I have a really hard time being vulnerable, baby, but I HAVE to be vulnerable with you. I have to be all of me in order for you to see the complexities of what it takes to be a strong woman in society–a woman that understands herself, loves herself, understands her position in a room and in the world, sees the hierarchies and tries to break them down to establish more equality among everybody–a woman who has to feel AND think and a woman who values both of those processes, even when society may only value the position of logic. A woman who sees needs. Who sees brokenness, who hurts for others who are hurting, who strives to stand for what’s right even if she’s the only one in the room standing. A woman who understands that one room is not the only room she belongs in and it’s not the most important room filled with the most important people if she’s standing alone. A woman who believes that she’s not ever truly alone. A woman who listens to her gut, who believes it’s a version of God guiding her, a woman who believes in God and knows that no matter what happens, she is never not loved. A woman who breaks down and gets angry and makes mistakes and cries and feels broken and self-doubts and apologizes when she’s wrong. A woman who remembers, at the end of the day, what she has and what she is grateful for. A woman whose moments of gratitude bolster her to keep going day. after. day.
So much of that stayed hidden. But you. You get all of it. You see all of it. You see me. And, baby, I see you. We see each other. We get each other. You remind me of what’s good in the world. You remind me to keep speaking out. I look into your innocent sky eyes that hold the world, and I want to protect everything about you, but I force myself not to. I let you make mistakes. I give you space to breathe and run and roam and challenge. I never had that space growing up. I want, more than anything, for you to see you as I see you, as Daddy sees you, as God sees you: you are good. Just the way you are. And you will only come to understand that by taking time and space to learn who you are and who you want to be. With that time and space, then–when you learn about yourself and begin to understand who you are–you can teach us how we should see you. And I promise. With everything in me. I will strive to see you.
My prayer for you today–what my heart will continue to petition God to do–is that you know you are loved. You know you are seen. You don’t question the goodness about yourself. You don’t doubt your intelligence or beauty or strength but, instead, you stand in it. And I want you to know that you are already a making an impact on the world. You’ve made an impact on me.
Just this past week, I started practicing an affirmation with you that I want you to know and believe, even from the age of 2: I am beautiful, and I am strong.
You are beautiful, my love. And you are so, so very strong.
This doesn’t seem to capture the heaviness of emotion and gratitude that I carry every day for you, or the prayers that I utter, both spoken and unspoken, for you and the way you move through the world. But, it is enough. It is my life’s joy to be your mama.
I love you beyond the sun, sweet Soleil.