I watch her. One moment a little girl, the next a young woman. She’s only seven and a half and yet her body is starting to connect with the moon and with mine. Mood swings monthly. Huge tears. My sensitive girl made more sensitive. I ask her, “What is wrong?” and the sobs wrack her body as she shouts “I DON’T EVEN KNOW!!”. Her confusion breaks me. I find my soft place for her, knowing this change won’t be easy for this girl who weeps at every birthday, not wanting to become older, not wanting to accept the next age and iteration of her life.
I find a soft place for myself. To mourn the little girl who is disappearing but not really. The moments I missed or worse, tainted and destroyed. Knowing my own imperfect journey of motherhood. Forever trying. Sometimes wondering if I’m doing more damage than good and still knowing now, that I am good enough. Knowing she was meant to be my girl and I was meant to be her mama.
Finding my own innate wisdom, my own embodied knowledge. Allowing the wise women before me to come forth and hold my hand through this new trial. Helping me to both hold her and let her go, at the same time. Allowing myself to shed my own layers of hurt and let that young girl in me come forward, to comfort her along with my daughter.
This wisdom rising up of what it is to be a woman. What it is to own my power and strength and beauty. To know there is infinite strength in the softness, the curves, the bending.
I see myself reflected in her eyes. I allow her own sadness to burst forth. Holding space for her as I do for so many others. And yet I sometimes forget she needs me to hold space for her first, always. Sometimes she gets my impatience and annoyance instead. Sometimes I fail at this thing called mamahood. And yet she always forgives me, she always tells me I am the best mama in the world, the most perfect mama just for her. And my heart cracks and shatters at her words and I find the strength to be gentle with her, with me.
I find myself grasping for her as she giggles and pulls away. In the next moment, she reaches for me, but I am not there. This is the dance of this mother and daughter. Beautiful, imperfect and filled with love and humanity.
I root down into my own embodied knowledge, my own wisdom. This too shall pass, too quickly. I have blinked too many times and missed so much. Those moments I have caught though, with my eyes wide open… they have been breath-taking, amazing. And it is those moments that remind me it’s not the big events and once time occasions, its the every day that defines us.
The every day quiet moments. The snuggles at bedtime. The warm hugs first thing in the morning. The bowl of oatmeal, lovingly prepared. The stopping typing and looking at her when she speaks to me. Holding her hand as we cross the street. The long talks in the car as we go from here to there. Those are the moments that have build the foundation of our relationship.
So we dance on this foundation, allowing it to hold us, to keep us safe during the turbulence and stress. For each moment I know I have screwed up, there is another moment or five that I know I got right. Those moments, the ones I got right, they keep us going, they give me faith in the tomorrows to come, again knowing in my bones I’ll screw some of those moments up too, and yet I will get so many more of them just right.