You, girl ... you are something else. As I've spoken about before, you changed me the day you were born. You taught me things I couldn't have possibly learned any other way. Things like, how this world, it revolves around oh so much more than just me and my self-indulgent circumstances.
It took me some real time to look at things this way. I used to feel like having you was the demise of everything that came before. Like, somehow my new role, Mama, erased everything that made me who I was prior: artist, designer, wife, friend, soul seeker, free spirit. Back then I didn't realize that, in fact, if I could allow it do so, this new title, Mama did not take away from all of these things, but instead made each of them more significant. My art, it became more vibrant, my designs, more effortless, my role as a wife, as a friend, as a family member, more full. My freedom, it was not stolen, only changed.
Taking care of you, and now your baby sister has given my life purpose. As much as it has been challenging in every possible way; all of the incredibly late nights, being woken up again, and again, and again. Trying to stop tears that seem to come from a place that I cannot pinpoint, long days stuck inside playing the same games over and over, slaved over meals that get thrown aside... no matter how laborious each of these moments seem, they are, as I've learned, the only ones that we have.
So, over the past few weeks, as these moments tick by and I watch you quickly, somehow approach four years of age, and it feels as though each morning that you awake, with your disheveled hair, twisted jammies, and hazel eyes that burn into mine more intensely than they did the day before .. and you seem to be completely, almost entirely, different, I take pause. The way you speak has changed. Your voice, your words, your strength, all somehow, altered. What used to make you cry, come running, needing me, no longer does. You are stronger, colder, more composed.
We had a fight a few nights ago. You misbehaved and I sent you straight to bed. You didn't even cry. You just went. You brushed your own teeth, you went to the bathroom, and got into bed. When I came up to say goodnight, expecting tears, hugs, you looked at me with glassy eyes. My heart - it could barely contain itself. You are not old enough to deal with these kinds of things, this way, all on your own ... are you?
You are too strong for your own good, my love. You are changing too much, too fast. And, frankly, I am not ready for it.
So, here I am again, in this place.... where I so often find myself since becoming a Mom. Again, I do not know what to do with myself. You, with that fire inside you that burns at a temperature that could melt steel ... you scare me. In both terrifying and beautiful ways. And just as quickly as I had found some peace in my purpose as a Mom, here I am, yet again, somewhat ... unglued.
I suppose this is what motherhood, parenthood is about. Finding yourself completely lost, scrounging to find the light, plowing through until you find the surface, and then losing yourself in it all again. Over and over. The wonderful, the wicked, all of it wrapped up in one big, beautiful bundle. And a precious one at that, one that you start off holding in your arms so very tight, protecting it from every misdirected gust of impure air and then learning that in time, no matter how hard you try to stop it, slow it down, all you can really do is trust in everything you've planted, all that you've cultivated, in order to muster up the strength to plainly, and with conviction, let it all go ...