A letter to my mum
Today's your birthday... AND Mother's Day... fancy that.
I can't believe you did this too. That you once held me in your arms when I was a baby. That you went through the excitement and anticipation of pregnancy, the pain of childbirth, the crazy rollercoaster of becoming a mother.
Did you also feel your identity shift? Did you feel your priorities change? Did you see the world with new eyes? Did you really love me THIS much?
I have so many questions.
I was your daughter. You were my mother. Those words mean something so different to me now.
Why did you never try to tell me?
Every step of this journey with Charlie I think of you and me. I've done this all before, with you. Instead of the holder, I was the held.
When I met my son for the first time, I thought of you, that there was also a moment that we met. I don't remember, but it must have been one of the most emotional moments of your life. When you met me, your first born.
I must have changed your life.
When he smiles at me and turns his head when he hears my voice, when he clings to my chest because it's the safest, happiest place in the world, I think of how I must have done that to you, and how you must have felt complete, being my everything.
I stare at this faded photo. I can't believe you loved me this much, that you felt all the things I'm feeling now. About me.
Sometimes it feels like having a baby is the end. Sometimes I feel old and like I have lived many lives. Then I think of all that is to come, that Charlie will one day be 2, 5, 15, then one day he'll have his own babies... I have a whole lifetime left to live... one you didn't get to have.
I wish you could meet him, your gransdon. I wish you could have got to be a grandmother. I'm so sad that you'll never have that.
You would be 59 today. You would be a grandmother.
I'm so lucky I get to do this for a second time. I hope one day I'll get to do the granddaughter-grandmother dance for the second time too.
And I'll think of you.
I think I understand now.