We went outside today.
It hadn’t been so beautiful in so long.
With messy ponytails and pajama pants, we traipsed around the acres I myself grew up exploring.
Well, they traipsed. I sat and watched.
I look at them, these beautiful things, so solid in our universe, and the days before their existence is blurry.
They step on bugs and pluck dandelions from the dry grass, so confident that they belong just where they are, not yet troubled by anything of consequence… completely unmarred by life.
As the sun shines down on them, their bodies cast elongated shadows on the ground and I see women in them.
My little girls, adults.
I wonder how they’ll be… if they’ll still be just like me in the most intricate and delicate of ways.
I hope they are.
Strong, beautiful, intelligent, hopeful, contemplative.
I hope they aren’t.
Will they be emotionally damaged? I’m sure they will. Who isn’t?
What woman, especially, isn’t?
But like me, no.
Not emotionally decapitated – cut off from that initial, vital lifeline to all that is feeling – their mother.
You need that. You need some semblance of that, I think.
Or maybe it was just I that needed that.
My grandmother raised me as her own.
She loved me, but she loved me like the bastard child of her disappointing daughter.
All that can be expected of a the constant reminder that you failed as a mother, and the product of your failure failed as well, I guess…
My girls are wrapped in my emotions, connected to me and all that I feel.
Hiding my true self from their inquisitiveness is impossible, and I don’t try.
They feel, without issue, unlike me.
I encourage their feeling. Their rage, their sadness, their happiness – only disparaging despairing.
Things will damage them, I cannot prevent that, and I wouldn’t if I could –
with pain comes growth.
I used to think that part of being a parent was shielding children from harm.
That opinion has changed – my responsibility to them lies in soothing bloody knees, not in forbidding running.
They know that they are loved, as wholly and as completely as I am able.
Will they always know?
If I do my job right, yes.