Just over six months ago, I became a mom. Amidst the whirlwind of washing bottles, doing daycare pick-ups and drop-offs, and just generally trying to figure out how to keep a human being alive, I've tried to steal a moment here and there to reflect on the experience. In writing letters, I feel like I am reflecting for me now and for her in the future.. possibly, it's a gift to both of us. I share this now in hopes that it might be able to offer something to the part of all of us that is ever a child trying to find it's way and to discover the truth of who we are:
On the day you were born…
I found a love and a purpose inside of me like I had never before experienced. Labor was powerful, painful, intense, but it was also free of fear. I knew you were coming and for the first time in days, I wasn’t worried that you wouldn’t make it out. I got through those final hours of surges by envisioning you in my arms, while also pulling intensely on your dad’s! I kept my focus on you. Yes, there were lots of outside voices telling me how to breathe or reminding me of my mantra “open, open, trust, trust” or giving me popsicles to eat. To be honest, though, at that point most of the external world was a blurry, haze. Internally, it was just you and me. I pictured what it was going to be like to hold you, touch you, breathe you in. It seemed like forever. And then, suddenly, there you were: all cone-headed, slimy, and mine.. all mine.
Once you were out, I should have been exhausted. I had been awake for over twenty-four hours. Instead, I had a newfound surge of energy. All I wanted to do was hold you and look at you, which is exactly what I did. You spent the first three hours of your life lying on my bare chest. We just stayed there, breathing each other in. That first day, and truly every day since, neither your dad nor I was able to get over how crazy miraculous it all was. To think: we created a human? We continue to catch each other in a moment and say, “can you believe we have a daughter?” or “did you ever think you could love someone so much?” or “she’s so flippin’ amazing!”. We were and are in awe of you.
It’s the awe that I wish I could fully convey. By nature, and profession, I have a tendency to find many things to be sacred. I see the holy every day. I once knew a relationship of mine wasn’t going to work because I looked at the world and was awed by it’s beauty and he looked at the world and was awed by it’s horror. The world is indeed full of both beauty and horror, my darling girl, but what you choose to be your compass makes an immense difference. My compass has always been directed towards the beauty, the divine, the miraculous.
I am amazed when my strawberry plants start to come through the surface all green and alive after a harsh Minnesota winter. I am in awe I have a device through which I can dial a number and talk to my own mom any time, anywhere. I find it incredible that we have two dogs and two cats and I can let them all outside knowing that they will all come home, because somehow, they have decided that living with us humans and with each other, is where they most want to be. These are the mundane things, to say nothing of the Grand Canyon, or Mount Kilimanjaro, or the starry sky.
There are so many things to be amazed by.. so, please listen when I tell you, I have never before been so in awe of anything in my entire life as I have been in awe of you.
The fact that you grew from a microscopic egg into this living, breathing, warm, fragile, strong, tiny human is just about the neatest thing I can imagine. When I multiply that fact a billion times over to represent all of the beings on the planet.. well, it takes my breath away. How humbling. How inspiring.
Somehow as we grow, we forget this about each other and ourselves: that we are intrinsically awe-inspiring. At our core, we are and our existence is nothing but miraculous.
Every day I work with clients who feel as if they are broken, mistakes, bad, not worthy. Every day, I try to remind them in some way or another, that they all started just like you, my dear sweet one. They all started as something sacred and amazing. That sacredness doesn’t just disappear. If it did, then I urge, when? How? What is the litmus test for when we lose our awesomeness? When do we become any less of a miracle than when we first began?
No, no, my love. Don’t let anyone tell you different. Mama doesn’t always know best, but she’s pretty confident about this one. You are, always have been, and always will be, a miracle. You are something to be awed at, delighted in, amazed by. And, this is the hard part: so is every other single being that you will ever meet.. no exception, ever.
I believe most of the horror in the world can be attributed to people forgetting that about themselves or one another.
One more thing, if you so choose to have children of your own one day, it might not be until that day that you fully understand how deep, wide, relentless, and unconditional our love is for you. You might not believe that to be true, I know I didn’t, but it has been true for me. You gave me the greatest gift of my life on the day you were born.. you gave me you.. a daily reminder of love and awe. You were a dream and a prayer come true.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I love you tons and bunches,