Category Archives: Motherhood

Now I am invisible.

My family went to Yellowstone for Christmas two years ago.  My son, then four, went with me to get long underwear.  It can fall well below zero at Yellowstone in the winter and though we had down coats and solid shoes, I wanted long underwear for my little ones.

When we arrived at the store the only pair they had in his size were bright pink.  I turned to him.

Look at this happy color! Won’t these be nice?

I half expected there to be a problem or some scoffing comment about girl colors.  He had never been really particular about colors before, but like all children, he could be particular when it was the most inconvenient for you.  However, this time he was thrilled.

I love pink!! I can’t wait to wear these! He clutched the package to his chest and ran toward the register. Bemused, I followed.

That night he wanted to wear them. I told him he had to wait until we got to Yellowstone.  He kept peeking into the luggage to stroke the bright pink long johns.

We arrived in Jackson, WY and found our way to a hotel.  When we got to the room the very first question out of his mouth was Can I wear them yet?

Yes.  Giving in I unpacked them and handed them to a young man who was literally bouncing on the balls of his feet in excitement.  He ran into the bathroom to change.

A few minutes later he came out covered neck to ankle in bright pink.

I am all over pink! Now I am invisible! You cannot see me!! He chortled mightily as he ran around being invisible, greatly enjoying the laughter his enjoyment caused the family.

Pink, apparently, is the color of invisibility and pink long johns are the equivalent to an invisibility cloak.  He wore the heck out of those things, thoroughly convinced that he was invisible each and every time.

An open letter to my daughter.

My beautiful amazing young woman.  You are perfect, just as you are.  You are brave, smart, loving, fun, spontaneous, beautiful, and kind.  I am proud of you.  I love you.

I am terrified for you.

You are turning into a woman.  You will soon have more and more freedom in your life, and while I know you are smart and thoughtful and will do your best to make good choices, I also know you are kind and generous, and may be mislead by the people in your life.

I know that the world holds opportunities and pitfalls, heroes and villians, teddy bears and monsters.

I can no longer protect you from life.  I cannot wrap you in my arms and make it go away with a kiss and a chocolate.  Now you begin to face the real world.  You will begin to see the harshness in addition to the beauty, the pain in addition to the joy.

Now the growing pains begin in earnest.

There is no way for me to stop you from embracing life and all the bruises that follow.  All I can do is promise you this:

I will speak openly and honestly with you about topics that embarrass us both so I may better fit you with appropriate weapons for your future battles.  I will not let discomfort prevent me from sharing with you the knowledge I gained from my own encounters.  I will hand down my armor in the clearest way possible.

I will keep the lines of communication open.  I will let you know that nothing you share with me will ever make me stop loving you, and I will reinforce the fact that there is nothing you can’t tell me.  Tell me anything, tell me everything.  I would rather know it all and be in a position to help you through it, than blindly fumble in the dark while you suffer.

I will not judge you.  I will worry about you.  I will work hard to make you understand the difference.  I will listen to your troubles and talk with you to help you make the decision that is best for who you are, not who I am.  If I get angry or sad about what you tell me, I will let you know the source of that anger or sorrow, and I will not let it get in the way of helping you. I will continue to love you and to listen.

The world is full of sharp and dangerous places.  I can’t stop you from wandering into them.  My parents couldn’t stop me.  All they could do was listen.  All anyone can do is provide you with a soft place to land when the sharpness cuts too deeply.

Let me be your soft landing place.  Let me be the place you run to heal.

I love you.

The last baby.

It’s a distinction he bears with pride.  It started when he told me he wanted a younger brother, so he could have a boy to play with.  My heart constricted in my chest and tears welled up in my eyes.

“I can’t have anymore babies my love, you are my last baby.”

“Your last baby? Why am I your last baby?” He asked, eyes widening as he tried to wrap his six year old mind around a very adult concept.

“Remember when mommy had the last surgery?”

“Yes. You couldn’t pick me up forever, and you cried.”

“Yes” I managed to whisper over the lump in my throat. “When I had that surgery, they took out the parts that let me have another baby. So that is why you are my last.”

He was silent as he absorbed this.  Maybe it was something in my tone of voice or the look on my face but he sat with my statement for a long time, treating it with more seriousness than I thought he could.

“That’s really sad mommy, that you can’t have another baby.” He threw his arm around my neck and snuggled into me, giving me a chance to breathe in the unique smell of his sweat and shampoo. “But I am a little glad I got to be your last  baby.” He kissed me on the cheek and snuggled in close, pulling me towards him with both of his little boy arms.

“I am glad too sweetheart” I murmured as I rested my chin upon his head and closed my eyes.

“And Mommy? Don’t worry, I will always be your baby.”