For a while now I have been toying with the idea of writing a blog to my daughter, Irie. She is 4 and a half and there are so many things that I want to tell her about life and love and all sorts of things, but I know she is too young for most of it now. I am afraid though, that when she’s ready I won’t be here to tell her, and so I thought of the idea for this blog. I wanted her (and others) to be able to find “mom” answers to things that happen in life, in case I can’t be around to tell her myself. I put the idea off because I thought it was too morbid. I mean the idea that I have to write this in case I am dead when the time comes to tell her is not exactly uplifting. But the truth is, it’s life. We were born to die, as I was reminded at my own mother’s funeral two weeks ago. So whether it is soon or 60 years in the future, death is not something that I will escape. And if my words can live on and offer advice or comfort to my sweet baby girl, then so be it. It has been three weeks since I heard my mother’s voice and yet I miss it the same way I imagine I would miss breathing if I were trapped underwater. Although she taught me many things about life and being a woman, wife and mother; I am still unprepared to face this world without her. And so, if something I write today can help Irie when she is 30 or 60 or 90, then morbid or not, here we go. Perhaps even the rest of us will learn a thing or two.
(PS- Yes, I am an English teacher. No, I probably did not use correct punctuation and grammar. If that's what you're looking for, read another blog!)
I decided to start writing down the things I want to make sure you know when you are older, just in case I’m not here to tell you myself. I know that if anything ever happened to me you would be well taken care of and never need for anything. You have the most amazing daddy, and often he does this whole parenting thing much better than me. When I originally wrote this, you had two full sets of grandparents who adore you. And you spent more time with my mother than you did with any other person on the planet (except Andrew). Now you are down to one grandmother and two grandfathers, but they still all adore you. You have eight great aunts and your Aunt Summer and maybe one day your Uncle Michael will get married, and maybe if something happened to me you would even have a step-mother someday (yes, I would haunt her until she gave up and ran away).
My point is if I weren’t around, there are many people who would step in and help you through life and teach you how to be a woman. I know this is true, because in the three weeks since I lost my own mother countless people have come forth trying to do for me what they know she would want them to do, trying to take care of me the way a mother does. But I’m sharing these insights with you baby girl, because I know that though they may all mean well, none of them will know you like me. You are my flesh, my blood, I grew you right under my heart and took care of you until the world was ready for you; you are in so many ways just a miniature version of me. So, while all of the people who love you will try to understand you; I already do.
There will be a time when you will not believe that I have any clue how you think or feel, but I will. Even while I’m punishing you for being late or drinking underage, even while I’m forbidding you from dating that really cute “bad boy” with no future. I will know how you feel , and I will still do the things that you think are unfair and that maybe even hurt a little (or a lot), because that is what a mother who loves her child will do. \\Because I am your mother, not your friend, I have a luxury that no one else has: I don’t have to worry if you like me. While those other people may want to help you through life, they will always want you to like them (whether they admit it even to themselves or not). Fortunately, my job description doesn’t involve that. I will always do what is best for you, regardless of how the consequences affect me. That is what a mother does, my dear.
Even on days when I want to laugh at something cute (but wrong) that you do, I will still punish you. Like the day that you told me you “cried the holy shit” out of yourself and you were punished, although your daddy and I are still laughing about it. Because my greatest purpose in this life is to make you an awesome woman (and your brothers awesome men).
So back to my point… Because I want to make sure you hear the things I want you to know, I’m writing them down. I hope that you never have a need for them, either because you never have a problem (yeah right) or because when you do, we’ll be able to talk openly and rationally about it (double yeah right). But maybe one day, when you need some advice and you’re too pissed at me to ask or maybe I’m no longer around; I hope you will read my words, and hear my voice, and feel my love.