Skip to main content

Dear Josh,

This Mom thing is hard.  Coming up on 14 years of doing it, it hasn't really gotten any easier.  I'm still totally lost.

I'm not really sure why I get mad so dang easily.  Or why it irritates me that you have the same habits I had when I was 13.  It probably seems like a very long time ago that I was 13, a lifetime, and it was.

My heart feels very tender lately, it seems to have this surging sort of quality.  It worries all day long about what you're doing, how you're thinking, what decisions you're making.  It troubles over the tools I've given you - or the lack accordingly.  I am constantly afraid that I am not enough to keep you safe.  I'm much too lazy and easy-road-taking.  I can only hope to make up for that by loving you beyond the boundaries of common sense.

When you were small, you used to come and tuck into my body, tight against my chest, and I could smell your hair.  It was feather soft and silky fine, golden nut brown.  The chubby red cheeks of your boyhood pressed against my beating heart, I would sit and breathe you in.  I have no words to describe those moments except for sacred.  Sacred is the bond between a mother and her child.  I feel those bonds stretch thin as you grow up and away, stretching your wings.  But they hold.

When I was young, I couldn't really imagine what being a mother meant.  It was a distant, blurry picture of something vague I knew I wanted.  In all my wildest dreaming moments, I could never have imagined it would be like this.  This sorrowing, gleeful, satisfying, stretched-thin joy.  Looking at you, that picture of you I hold in my mind, I know that I have been so blessed for every moment I've been given. 

I hope someday you'll understand and pass this feeling on.  But not for a while.




Popular posts from this blog

Dear Carly,

I assume that one day you will come to me wanting to know who you are, where you came from, where your other family is and why they gave you to us.  I offer you little bits of information already, but certainly not crumbs enough to satisfy the appetite.  Perhaps it won't matter to you.  I am assuming a lot, already, about how adoption will impact your life.

People often wonder why adoptive parents are hurt when their children seek out biological roots.  I have the answer, and it's very simple.  Adoption - at its core - makes us question the legality, authority, voracity, and validity of parenthood.  For most adoptive parents, first you must come to terms with an issue that strikes at the foundations of mortality: fertility.  From birth, most of us are driven to form families.  First we are nestlings, nurtured and weened and eventually taught to fly.  Then we are nest-builders, filling our lives with the stuff necessary to drive life forward.  Knowledge, safety, money, a sturdy …

On being away from home and turning sixteen: a letter to my son

Dear Josh,

I missed your sixteenth birthday.  I'm sure you recall - or maybe it wasn't so bad because you spent the whole day with your friend watching movies.  Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, you've said.  It's no surprise to me that Godzilla was your favorite of the two.  That atomic green monster holds a special place in your heart.

It was very difficult for me to be away from you when you crossed this threshold in your life.  I remember turning sixteen, being sixteen, and wondering when I would feel like I was actually sixteen.  When I was sixteen, I went and found my first job, I started driving myself around, and I pretty much felt like I was in the wrong skin.  I'm only now, at 37, beginning to feel in the right skin.  Or at least comfortable with the skin I'm in.  But you - well, you don't seem to have a problem being you.  I can't explain how very happy that makes me feel, how very reassured.  Because it can be really hard not to like you…

Dear Carly (on your 9th birthday),

I can't remember what it is like to turn nine years old.  From watching you turn nine, it must have been difficult because it seems like everything is either really, really greator really, really bad.  Some days I think I might get whiplash from the mood swings (and you're not a teenager yet!).   But overall, I think nine must also be really wonderful.  You seem to be full of joy, even moments after being full of woe.  It's as if the joy just pushes the other stuff out.  It practically oozes from your pores.  More than that, on the days you choose to be happy, the whole world sings with you.  People are infected by it, drawn in to your sweet smile and shining eyes.  Attracted like bugs to a light.  You shine, dear little diva, so brightly sometimes it's blinding.

We just spent three weeks together in California, and I must have complained too much about your behavior because your dad believes we are oil and water right now.  I'd prefer to see us as oil and vinegar …