A Love Letter

900601 Mom & Girls (2)

 

I’ve been given time alone for Mother’s Day.  Doesn’t sound like fun to many people but sometimes being alone can be quite an awesome treat.

I remembered these two photographs earlier this morning and wanted to share.  They were taken in 1990 by a dear friend of mine.  I think I had her take them for a Father’s Day gift.  They are also two of just a handful of photographs taken of me with the girls over the years. I treasure them, they speak of the happiness that was ours all the time they were growing up.

They’ve turned into wonderful, brilliant, kind women.  I’m more proud of them than anything else in my life.

On Mother’s Day children come together to celebrate the woman who brought them up.  I’ve never had a real fondness for Mother’s Day only because I’ve always felt that my children were such a gift to me.  For years they were my photographic muse.  They grew up in costumes, in studios, at parks – always with a camera in front of them.  The yearly Christmas card was what I strove for each year, anxiously waiting for the reviews.

I watched them go through their childhood, teenage and young adult years with joy and trepidation.  We all know how hard life can be and you silently hope that your kids won’t ever go through some of the things you’ve been through.  You try to guide them in a direction that will make them happy and content adults.  You encourage each one of them in their interests, nurturing those little sparks.

I hear many of my younger friends with small children of their own now talk about the annoyances of day to day life and I remember it was hard balancing everything in your daily lives.  I want you to know it’s all worth it, it may not seem so now, but it is.

So my children are now adults, I’ve been through the empty nest, I am growing in a different direction.  My life is actually the accumulation of many smaller lives, I think we are all like that.  I see mine as sort of a pie chart sectioned off, it’s not a whole yet but I can see each section as a different phase – who I was with, what I was doing.  They are all in different colors.  The biggest part of my pie chart at the moment is motherhood and it’s bright red.  It stands out.  It was the best thing ever.

So this mother’s day I’m not celebrating mothers, I’m celebrating children, my own. For without them this day would not exist.

900601 Mom & Girls (1)

 

Heartfelt

Gerber Daisy Lg

 

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have our heart go walking around outside your body.”

Elizabeth Stone

Today is my youngest’s 26th birthday, it is also the week before Mother’s Day.  I’m not one to celebrate mother’s day in an extravagant way.  For me everyday is mother’s day even though my children are well into adulthood.  Of all the things I have done in my life being a mother has been the most important to me.  It defines who I am now.  I just always hope that I have raised kind and compassionate people, both with themselves and others.

Then days come like yesterday when I get to spend an afternoon with my progeny – two that I raised and one I did not and was recently reunited with. It was a quiet time enabling me to reflect on who they’ve become.  A chance to look at them and see my history in their eyes – my mother, my father, my grandparents and marvel at the wonder of it all.  There are so many things they are born with that just need a little nurturing.  The amazing thing is you often don’t see these things until they are adults.

 I wasn’t fully aware how many of our children’s talents are inherited and blossom with a little nurture.  It’s so much like planting a garden.  You put those seeds in the ground knowing what they are and how they will look but you fuss over them and water them and watch over their growth and maturity.  When they mature it is still a marvelous revelation. You think how beautiful even though you knew it all along.

Seeing what they’ve become is only part of it though, there are no words to express the swelling in my soul that encompasses them.  It defies description, yet I know when they have children of their own they will know the feeling.  The idea that your heart is walking outside of your body embodies so many things.  I think I’ll try to remember next time I’m out in the world that every person has a mother who has this same primal desire for her child to feel the sweet kindness of those who come to know them.

Every mom’s heart is out there in the world walking outside her body.