It's seems fitting that this week between my birthday and mother's day would be a good time to tell my mother 'thank you.'
It's something I don't do very often, not nearly enough. Considering she went to all the trouble of having and raising me, and beyond that, loving me, and loving me still. Loving me still like I'm a little girl. Sometimes I hover over my daughter, Sydney, and inhale a deep whiff of her head. It's her 'baby head smell.' It's almost not a baby smell anymore, but it's still her unique smell and it's intoxicating. When I breathe her in my love for her fills my senses; my nose, eyes and mouth. For a moment we are as connected as we were when we shared a blood supply.
My mother does the same thing to me, and seeing that I'm not four, and it can be quite awkward for a 30 something-year-old when your mother is sniffing your head, it still connects us. She still loves me like that.
I want to thank my mom for doing more than just raising me and loving me, I want to thank her for having me. For choosing to have me.
Perhaps there are some things a person should not know, perhaps knowing that one could have become a part of a statistic, an inconvenience, is one of those things. But because my mother is the woman she is, that would never have been my fate. But had she been someone slightly different, someone more easily wounded, I very well could have not been born.
My father didn't want more children, he didn't want me. At least he didn't during my mother's pregnancy, that precious time when we shared a blood supply. Things were rocky in their marriage, violent even, and another child (he already had two from a previous marriage) was the last thing he wanted. And he told her so.
I cannot imagine the sort of strength it took for her to not only resist his request to terminate her pregnancy, but to stay with him. To hold her own hand through the mood swings and nausea. To talk herself through the entire experience without the support of her husband.
When I arrived he changed his mind, or so I've been told. He passed out cigars to all the nurses and doctors. His first, and only girl. For the moment he was happy.
After I had Sydney, during those difficult early weeks of sleeplessness, the awkwardness of feeding, the mood swings and eventual post partum, I couldn't shake the feeling of awe I had toward my mother. She went through all this (twice)! I would think, with a husband who didn't even want me to begin with. With a husband who was cruel and distant. My husband couldn't be more opposite than those things, and yet I struggled. My husband was present and passionate for our daughter, and still is. My husband is a loving, kind person. My husband wanted Sydney as desperately as I did. And still it was hard. My mother did it on her own.
Mom, thank you (i know you are reading this because you always read my blog before anyone else!)
Mom, I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for your love, your sacrifices for me, your support, your generosity and kindness.
Mom, thank you for your affection, for still wanting to hold me and inhale deeply.
Mom thank you for being brave enough to raise me with such love, integrity and passion, and for doing it all by yourself.
I love you Mom. My birthday is as much your celebration as it is mine. Happy Mother's Day.