To ebb and flow, a continuous motion that is infinite.
An ancient ritualistic dance of the moon and the sea.
Mothers and daughters are the same.
Our relationships ebbing and flowing over centuries.
We separate at birth but become more intertwined with time.
Only to separate again later.
At the age of independence.
This is where we are.
Lately I feel that we are separated by a sea of years and hormones.
You in your teenage years.
I in my forties.
The waves of this particular sea are serene at times, and so peaceful.
Other times, we are separated by a rough, merciless sea, throwing us together, tearing us apart.
Lately, you roll your eyes more.
Your mouth which used to smile and giggle, now seems to frequently frown more than it used to.
It reminds me of your temper tantrums when you were a toddler.
I would be stern, but under the solid veneer mask I portrayed, inside I was mush and thought you were adorable.
I still think you’re adorable. Except when the tone of your words is angry and frustrated more than it used it be.
Directed at me.
I understand more than you know. Except you have it much easier than I did.
You will never be abandoned. You will never be abused. You will never be cold.
You will never be hungry.
You will never not know what family means.
I understand your need for independence. You’re still so young. You don’t see that yet but one day you will.
I want you to enjoy being young, and you do thankfully.
I love how you embrace life and soak it all up. My little sponge.
I also see your impatience to grow up.
Slow down, enjoy these moments for they are fleeting.
I joke with you that you seem to have perfected the glare of outrage. The icy look of steel, jaw set in determination to have your way.
I remember that look. I used to look at my mother that way.
I wonder if she understood. Is it a legacy we pass on? This defiance?
I respect it because it shows character and strength, but some days it’s exhausting.
We pick our battles wisely, sometimes not so wisely.
This has been a hard year. Perhaps I’ve not had all the understanding I should have with you.
Perhaps that’s mommy guilt knocking at my door. I refuse to answer. I know my path.
For the most part I have had infinite patience that flows from a place only I understand.
I do know once our stormy moments are over, we always talk. We always hug.
Long, just hugging, not talking moments. You nestled in my arms.
Your head just under my nose.
Your taller now, but still my baby. My own.
We aways say I love you.
This is important. This must be done. This is the legacy that needs to take root.
I understand more than you that life is too short.
It’s why I have the patience to teach you all the things you need to learn.
I know what it is to be motherless. I am thankful that you don’t.
But I am heartbroken for you, because one day you will know how that feels.
And I won’t be here to help you though it.
So we ride these waves, ebbing and flowing to and from each other.
I am your lifeboat. I am your beacon, guiding you. Even when you push me away, I resist.
I resist beecause I know one day you will navigate these waves on your own.
I can only hope the map I create for you now, will be your solace.