We went to visit my brother at summer camp on Wednesday and while he was happy to see my husband and myself his first comment to my mom was "What are YOU doing here?"
Later as we were leaving my mom mentioned to my dad "At least I wasn't as devestated this time." I asked her what she meant. She said that the first time they visited me as a teenager at camp I had said the exact same thing. Apparently she had cried because she had missed me so much but I had appeared to want nothing to do with her. She said this time she had been expecting that response, knowing it's simply how teens respond at this time in their life, and so she wasn't as hurt.
This got me thinking about my own gorgeous little girl and the turbulent times ahead. Will she destest me in her teens? Will she wish I wasn't around? How will I handle that heart break? I look at her now, sleeping sweetly in my arms, smiling at me like I hang the sun, and I wonder. Right now I am her favourite thing in the world. She clings to me like industrial strength velcro. One day though, she will let go. Will I be able to? What will I do when my heart is torn from my chest with the words "I hate you!"? Will I remember myself as a teen and know that it's the turbulance in her life and not her lack of love for me that brings about those emotions? Will I be strong enough to watch my sweet daughter struggle?
Motherhood is an intense journey and although I do somewhat fear the future I am also excited. I know that though the pain is a worse punishment than anything else I will ever experience (physical and emotional), the pay back is also so much more perfect. There is nothing that can move you more than the sound of someone calling you "mama". There are no real words to explain that extacy. I believe however that my favourite poet ee cummings said it well. I always thought this poem was written for a lover (and I presume it probably was) but I now feel it fits, more suitably, the feelings of a mother for her child.
Somewhere I have never travleed, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which I cannot touch because they are too near
Your slightest look easily will unclose me
though I have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and open; only something in my understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.
And so with fear and fascination, anxiety and awe, I gladly take this journey through the life of my little girl.
"Motherhood is not what we imagined. It is more delightful, more heartbreaking. It ruins everything. It's not the calm after the storm we have been left to expect. It is almost more than a person can bear. Almost." By Author Ariel Gore