Sometimes it seems like the line between where you end and where I begin has been pretty fuzzy.
When you were first born, I knew it right away. That, in some magical way only new moms can sense, we were one. That you and I, for this period of time, were a complete unit. You needed my body, maybe more than I needed it. You needed my time, my attention, my unconditional love, my sleepless nights, my entire being.
And I needed you too. I still do, even though you are a preschooler now. I crave your cuddles more than anything else in the world. More than coffee, sleep, or yes, even a social life.
That line will become less fuzzy as you grow, but for now, in some ways, we are still one. This isn’t good, nor bad, it just is. This line between us — it just is rather fuzzy.
As a work-from-home mom, I know your every move. I’m aware of every morsel of food that you eat and I know your likes and dislikes as well, if not better than, I know my own. I know the order in which your four ‘blankies’ must be on top of you for a peaceful nap, your preference for vanilla over chocolate, and your enthusiasm for anything that resembles a parade. Your propensity for painting little pictures currently outweighs any interests that I personally have. You just feel everything so strongly.
Although you had looked forward to your first gymnastics class for weeks, when the time finally came, you couldn’t go in. You sat outside watching the other children participate for an hour, and cried the whole way home about how “disappointed in yourself” you were. Afterward, we prepared for the following class all week, practicing how you’ll go in the door and sit down on a colored dot, what you’d do if you didn’t know a move (just march in place), and how you’d tell the teacher if you needed to use the restroom.
I think we spent hours preparing, because you were determined to give this a try. When you walked right in and absolutely loved the next class, I felt like it was a win for both of us (because, in many ways, it was). And when the instructor came out and took me aside, telling me that you were the most “intense” 3-year-old she’s worked with, I knew that she saw you and your little personality … because that was exactly you. And exactly me. I just know you so clearly right now because the line between us, and even our personalities, isn’t always very distinguished.
When that pretty little brunette at preschool bossed you around and told you that you couldn’t play with her, it felt like a punch to my own gut.
I’ll even admit that sometimes when I’m thinking about which outfit I should wear for a few drinks with friends, I realize that I’ve subconsciously chosen a tunic and leggings that are actually yours. In size 4T. Such is our overlap.
And I noticed it too when I went to that one “mommy meeting” (my first time away from you all week), and you called me crying, saying you just needed a hug from me.
These are the times when the fuzzy definition between your personhood and mine becomes tenuous and challenging. When I just need a moment to drink coffee and think about life from a perspective more overarching than bathroom needs and little organic fruit snacks.
But sometimes the line becomes more clearly defined. Perhaps it’s a little peek into the future, when your own personality with overlap less with mine, when your need for me will be different.
For example, you will spend hours taking apart a machine to see how it works, and then you will spend even more time putting it back together with the kind of engineering gusto that I could never produce.
You are a heavy and content sleeper, which is another clear line emphasizing our differences.
Dear daughter, I am aware that others may criticize this fuzzy line’s existence. I know that they may say that we need to sever our bond and they may label my parenting or say that it seems as though I have no interests besides you. These are all the ridiculous things that people may say when they feel jealous, inadequate, or mean; or just don’t understand.
And of course, I know that you were never fully mine. Not really. As are all children, you are entrusted to me for a very short period of time, where I can help guide you to your God-given talents and passions, and help raise you to be a person who helps others and makes a significant contribution to this world.
But even as you set out on your way, I also know that our beautifully fuzzy line will never be completely distinguished, at least to me, because you are forever a part of the fiber of my being.More On