Dear Beautiful Girl –
I rarely carry you these days.
You run, and climb, and walk, and jump – you are a whirlwind and a force and so much your own person. But I feel, I carry, the weight of you, especially lately. The weight of your wide open eyes, our long, weary winter days, our early mornings and your beautiful, stubborn independent resistance. The weight of the lessons you’ve yet to learn, the bruises that will rise and fade and rise again on your knees, the many times your heart will break and mend, the promise to teach you what is true, what is good, what is right, what is home.
The most precious burden, my most cherished responsibility, the joy and the gratitude – and still there are days I am simply lost for what to give to you. Days that feel heaviest. Days where the weight of being your world is as much as I can carry. Days when I need to ask someone else to carry me.
Days when I am desperately carving space for the wandering girl inside me who is always trying to conquer the biggest questions and solve the hardest truths.
I keep dreaming about deserts – all that wild endless space, and the silence, and the time. All that open air and dry heat to sweat and solve and feel out all the aching places, all the tired muscles, all the lost pieces and mended holes. How to be the mother you deserve when my soul craves solitude? How to hold you when I am tired of being touched? How to be your solid place to land when the ground all around me is shaking?
Do any of us ever stop asking these questions?
Deconstruction is beauty that feels like a wound. It’s a hopeful autopsy – perhaps, if we tear away this bluing flesh and rusting bone, cut sharply the most tender places, we can uncover the deep-beating heart of this thing. Deconstruction is the true-trusted voices calling you back from the edge “Stop! It’s too close and too far and you’ll fall” and the newborn, trembling courage to call back “I love you, I feel it, I know, how I know – but this canyon and I have our business to finish, and I need to see all the way down to its floor. I need to toe up to the edge and let the wind hold me. I need to trust whomever it was who promised to carry us home.”
It’s a long look into the face in a clear mirror, asking her what remains if you simply aren’t the girl you thought you would be.
To be your mother, as I dissect and unwind and unpack and disassemble the building blocks upon which I have created a space for us, as I look into the eyes of the truest things. To be your mother, as I am undone and redoing. To be your mother, as I am rebuilding her, rewriting her, exploring her edges, exploring the space in between. To be your mother, imperfect. To be your mother, wide open.
I am weary of being right. I am weary of being sure.
What remains if I am simply not the mother I thought I would be?
Beautiful, magical, wonderful girl – I love you, I love you, I love you so.
Here is what I know:
Grace is a door left swinging, the mutinous value pressed into unworthy spaces, the endless echoing wonder of your laugh. Grace is the given, the holy, the only remaining. Grace is the eyes that see and the ears that hear, the deep inner knowing, the heartbeat still drumming here under, here always, here now. Grace is the hand the grasps and the heart that opens, the freedom to hold loosely, the rush of the wind and the sense of belonging. Grace is you and I learning, and holding, and making each other. Grace is the unmovable root of the thing, and whoever God is and wherever we’re going, grace is enough. Grace is most certainly, always enough.
I will give you your mother, imperfect, to hold, as I hold you.
We will falter, and laugh.
We will walk boldly, and learn.
We will fold into grace that will carry us.
We will let it sing us through the desert.
We will cling to it all the way home.