The nurse congratulated me and laid a sweet baby girl into my arms. I gazed into those big blue eyes filled with the most wonderful kind of love. This helpless beautiful little creature depended on me for everything and she wasn’t doubting that she would get everything. Looking into her face was like looking into a magical mirror that reflected back the very depth of my being. All my flaws and shortcomings flashed before my eyes. The reality hit me: the task before me was huge. Would I measure up?
I am someone’s mother. I am responsible for another life. Another heart. Another soul.
I want so badly to do the “right” thing, to raise her the “right” way. Frankly I’m scared of messing up, scared of messing HER up.
Right now, I am her hero, her champion. I am her whole world. She hugs me and kisses me just because. She writes me cards and love notes daily. She accepts what I tell her as the ultimate truth.
Right now she thinks I’m the best mommy in the whole world and I wonder when I will be exposed. When will she discover that I am imperfect, that I am flawed, that I am scarred? I have a past, a Before Her. I need to deal with my own baggage so she won’t have to lug it throughout her life. I have so much to learn still. I am not done growing, I am not done changing.
And this, this is unwavering, non negotiable: I am giving her my best shot. My mission is to guide her, protect her, teach her so she can have a great life. Will I succeed?
For her, I want the very best.
What do I want for me?
It boils down to this:
I want her to like me when she’s grown up.
I don’t want her to just tolerate my presence but seek it. I want her to see me as her ally not her enemy. I want her to smile at my quirks and not be annoyed by them. I want her to respect and admire the woman I am. I want her to be fond of me. I want her to cherish me. I want to be her mommy forever and ever.
It also boils down to this:
I want her to grow up and be someone I like, someone I respect.
I want her to be someone who lives by the values we taught her.
I hope she takes our advice and learns from our mistakes. I hope to make a thousand mistakes if it will spare her some pain and misery.
I hope she will be a fabulous young lady who lives up to the fabulous little girl she is today.
If she keeps that joy,
If she remains as sweet and loving,
If she continues to care for those around her as she does now,
If she stays as strong, focused and persevering,
If she retains her desire to learn,
If she is as silly and funny as the six year old version of her is right now
Then I know she’ll be fine…she’ll be great!
This morning she asked me if I was having my breakfast outside on the porch or inside in the living room and then she said:
“I want to be with you mommy. Wherever you are, I’ll be”.
Such sweet words. Such sweet sentiment. It did this mama’s heart good.
When I look into the magical mirror nowadays, I’m at peace. There is less fear and more love reflected there now. There are fewer tears and more smiles. There are fewer doubts and more hope. Some flaws still stare back at me. My load is heavy but I am strong. The work is plenty but I am committed.
And as clear as a summer sky, I can now see a truth that had escaped me that very first day, hidden in a fog of hormones and insecurities: doing my best is enough…
I am enough.
Listen to the author read this post: Am-i-Enough-by-Sarah-Badat-Richardson
As this post gets published, it is Mother’s day in the United States.
Happy Mother’s day! I hope you believe you are enough too.
What was that first day as a mother like for you? Share in the comment section below.