My daughter has been making a serious effort to identify with me.
“Mommy,” she has said (repeatedly), “the only thing that is different between you and me is our eyes. I have daddy’s eyes. They’re brown. Yours are kind of gold/green, but other than that, we are absolutely the same, aren’t we?”
I nod and smile because I don’t know what else to do. How do I say to my only daughter that every morning I wake up and find her curled around my body (because most nights she sneaks back into our bed) I think to myself, “I’ve done nothing to deserve this. Dear God, let me be good enough for this task of motherhood.”
And then I yell out to Dan, “Babe! BABE! Can you put on the jug for coffee?”
And all of my spiritual poetry and great intentions gets shoved beneath the blankets.
This is motherhood. I wake up in awe of my children and husband. I blink and want just ten minutes alone with a hot cup of extra strength coffee and my journal.
I’m learning it doesn’t matter. Some days I’ll master the balance. Other days, I’ll go down in flames.
For the last few days, we’ve been on weekend time.
Weekend time is not rest time for parents.
I’m trying to get back into a writing/living/being healthy schedule. I have to say that it isn’t easy. I have a vision but the reality of my life often crouches, sits back on its heels, and laughs.
It laughs an ancient laugh. I agree with it for a moment. But then I argue. And surrender. And argue.
It is a wasteful cycle.
In the end, I listen (only because my parents raised me right) and then, after great consideration (I’m lying, I didn’t consider), I give it the finger and still declare:
“I don’t agree to any of this!
I don’t agree to the droughts.
I don’t agree to the instability of rain or warmth or cold.”
So, every day, as we work at our gardens, as I eat the dinner my daughter prepared (a sliced tomato and carrot with sea salt) I want to throw a planetary tantrum.
Right now, more than anything, my daughter wants to know that she is my girl. That I’m hers and she is mine.
She wants to know that if she takes care of what is given to her, that what is given to her will take care of her. But I can’t promise that.
So instead, I say to her, “My love, I’m so proud to be your mother.”
What I would want to say to my daughter br />
“You are a beauty that leaves me humbled
You are generous and fierce in a way I could never be
You, my dear, arrived in this world…
I’m grateful for the grace of loving you.
Our eyes may not be the same, and that is because you have new eyes.
Trust your eyes, my daughter.
I love you.”