I’ve been inspired by Elise Blaha Cripe’s weekly letters to her baby daughter. She beautifully and openly puts to words what it means to her to be a mother, and how difficult and beautiful her experience has been. Her most recent letter talks about the pain and anticipation of not being able to help and heal all her daughter’s future pains.
Today Harriet got her first shots, and Alma got her first shot that she will remember. Until today, Alma has always happily laid down and gotten her shots without showing any realization of what was coming. Today she watched Harriet get her shots, then when her dad put her on the table, it was clear she knew what was coming. Big, sad tears rolled down her face. It is easy to ease Harriet’s pain these days. I can nurse any sadness from her. I can’t do that for Alma anymore. I have to rely on hugs and cuddles, and, as Elise wrote about, there will come a time when even those will stop working for my girls.
I feel like I have a lot to say about what it means to have daughters, but right now I’m having an impossible time finding the words. I want to revisit these thoughts, but for now, I’ll borrow the words of Sarah Kay and her beautiful poem, “B”
“If I should have a daughter, instead of mom, she’s going to call me Point B. Cause that way she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me.”
“And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you – hard – in the face and wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach, but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”
“When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly, and the very people you want to save are the people standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say ‘thank you.’ Cause there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.”