I’d give anything if you could remember how we have grown together through the years.
The 3 a.m. feedings, the changing of thousands of poopy diapers, cleaning vomit stained clothes, and not going out to a restaurant for over 2 years. I call them the days of learning that happiness came in very small and messy packages.
All those times I fretted over fevers, colic, first steps, first falls, first sleepovers, first day of school, first field trips and first boyfriends, I was learning how to let go of things I couldn’t control.
My stomach was your first home. I witnessed your first breath. I was your first vision. And you instantly became my truest love.
I bore witness to your first step, your first tear, your first boo-boo and your first tooth. I am the watcher and keeper of all that was, and is, you.
All these memories were reserved for me alone. Such a pity. How else could you possibility know the length and breadth of my commitment and love without the memory of our first years together?
You are my only child. It wasn’t planned that way. You always told me you wanted a sibling. I always wanted to give you one. Just one of life’s heartbreaks we were meant to share.
Things were tough from the start. Money was scarce and security an unknown commodity. As soon as you came into my life, we lost our home in foreclosure. There is nothing quite as daunting as being broke and homeless with a newborn baby to feed. Nothing.
But, we made it through. Taking you to the mall in your Fisher-Price roller skates, getting your raincoat and galoshes on to walk through puddles, and dressing your cat Pumpkin and walking him around the block in a baby carriage were just some of your favorite play times. Mine too. Hard times, fond memories.
Nightly readings of the Bernstein Bears, Dr. Suess, and Goodnight Moon, playing board games, making clay animals, building forts, countless lullabies, tiny tooth fairy notes and little mermaid bubble baths were all a part of your happy life. Do you remember? I do.
How could I forget the hot chocolate molten cake runs after school on a particularly bad day? And the “wellness days” we occasionally took from life as we turned off the phones, closed the blinds and disappeared into our own world. The vacations we escaped to, the hours of shopping we did to find the perfect dress, and the thousands of late night talks as we gazed out to the stars from your moon window.
All this made a childhood for you and a motherhood for me.
We shared and built dreams together you and me. Many came true, some didn’t. It was in the planning and scheming that trust was formed. When you thought you had no friends, I sat with you cross legged and talked for hours, watched movies, baked cookies and played games. In the later years when my heart was broken and divorce loomed, you were shocked and disappointed, but you listened and you cared.
There is no way you could know of my sleepless nights when you got your driver’s license and started your first job. The worrying about where you were, how you were and who you were with. The ache when your curfew arrived but you still hadn’t. The fear that lingered when you didn’t answer your phone.
We had our fair share of temper tantrums (both of us), of moody days and dismal nights. But they were few and far between, as life offered little time to dwell on things so minor as resentments and misunderstandings.
When you began your big girl life and got a job at a fancy restaurant downtown, did you know I never slept until I got a text from you that you made it home safely? Crazy, right? There are few things crazier than a panicky mom.
I cheered you on, co-signed for loans, bought fancy pillows and knick-knacks for your new apartment and we talked regularly as we lived our lives 15 miles apart from one another.
When you came home from Greece and announced you had met the man of your dreams, I never doubted it. You were never one to fancy anyone that didn’t merit it. You later married that young man and made a life together. I don’t think you can ever know the pride and happiness I have in my heart for you and your choices.
These days we don’t talk very often. You are so busy with your wonderful husband, fabulous friends, and busy and budding career. I too, am swept up by life. I have built a prospering consulting business and speaking platform, have a wonderful fiancé who keeps me on my toes, and gobs of fabulous friends who keep us dashing from here to there. It’s wonderful to know that we both have the lives we deserve.
And yet, with no intent of imparting guilt (yes, really), I want you to know how much I miss you. Every. Single. Day. I miss the calls and updates, the meetings for lunch, the gossip, the sharing of hopes, dreams and dilemmas. One day, when life slows down a bit, you will miss them too. Separate lives have never meant separate hearts.
You are all grown up now and need your mother far less than the days you first entered this world. But in remembering all that we once were, remember too, all that we still are.
The best of friends, despite occasional differences. A friend that has had your back since the day you took your first breath, and who will continue to love you until the day I leave this world.
And so when I celebrate Mother’s day, I celebrate you. Without having been your mother, I would have missed out on some of life’s happiest moments.
You’ll know precisely what I’m talking about … your turn will come soon enough.
I love you,
T.O. Weller - Tammy, how do I tell you how touching this is without sounding absolutely sappy?
Reading this triggered my memories of motherhood and raising my son, with many of the same questions, challenges, and triumphs. But mostly, the love.
It’s a bittersweet feeling; I miss those times and yet I’m also thankful for where we are today … and looking forward to all that is to come.
Marilyn tichauer - It’s hard to see with big tears in my eyes………..Just Beautiful!!!
Kim Liebman - That was beautiful Tammy, I hope you have the Mothers Day that you deserve!
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!
Barbara Hammond - What a sweet and loving tribute to your beautiful daughter.
K. Lee Banks - Thanks for sharing this very touching post and tribute to your daughter! I have four adult “kids” – including three daughters – and one of those daughters is now a mother herself of my two beautiful granddaughters.
I would love to borrow this quote, and attribute it to you:
“When I celebrate Mother’s day, I celebrate you. Without having been your mother, I would have missed out on some of life’s happiest moments.”
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!
penpen - you’ve captured exactly how i feel on mother’s day–that it’s a day to be thankful I have the children I have and, whatever the challenges of time and distance, the loving relationships we have. The feelings of appreciation go from me to them.
Tana Bevan - *sniff* *sniff*
Congrats! (Sounds like you will soon acquire the “Grandma/Nana/Grammy” moniker?!?)
*hugs* *lots & lots of hugs!!!!*
Joan Cooper - A truly beautiful Mothers’ Day memorial.
No one has your way with words. Not even me with my horse.
mel glenn - What a lovely, lovely love letter to your daughter. She SHOULD know, or at least be aware of, all the work you did. Children leave, that’s the way of things. I am sure she loves you, but not as much as you love her. She should take this post and have it framed.
Tammy - T.O., sappy is highly under rated. As moms, our memories get triggered all the time. To miss those days with our children isn’t to say we don’t love the lives we live now. Days of long ago hold whispers still….and I am always listening. So happy you are here. Truly.
Tammy - Sweet Marilyn, so glad you are on the other end. Thank you for your words. They mean a lot. Not the first time we have cried together. Probably not the last. Love you. xo
Tammy - Hi Kim, thank you. I hope the same for you, my darling friend. May we ALL have the Mother’s Day we deserve. For each of us it’s different, but it will always involve love, acceptance and gratitude. We stand together, you and I.
Tammy - Hi K. Lee, of course, use the quote in good health! It’s clear that you have many blessings. Have a wonderful celebration of you and your children. As my daughter would say: every day is Mother’s Day.” Yes it is.
Tammy - Penpen, you are so right….whatever the challenges of time and distance, loving relationships endure forever. I am so glad you dropped in. Appreciate the read and the caring comment!
Tammy - Hi Tana, not acquiring any such moniker for the time being. Didn’t mean to imply it. Simply that one day … whenever that day is … she will understand everything that is as yet unexplainable. I’m sniffling along with you and sending lots of hugs right back at ya!
Tammy - Hi Joan, my dad would call me a wordsmith. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. So happy you enjoyed the read. I happened to know your heart felt words are beautiful … especially when it comes to your beloved horses. xo
Tammy - Hi Mel, you are SO right, children leaving IS the way of things. Of course she loves me, but I sincerely doubt that any child could love their parent more than their parent loves them. That is the way of things too. Missing what we had is a blessing and a curse. But it doesn’t mean for one moment that I don’t love and cherish my life right now. Color me VERY blessed indeed. Thanks for being here. I love hearing from you. Hope all is well with you, my cyber friend.
Doreen Mcgettigan - She is so beautiful and what a beautiful letter. I just wrote a letter for my daughters 40th birthday (OMG) coming up in June telling her how much I miss her, our conversations and her needing me. It is so hard to get used to and lonely.
Carol Cassara - How sweet is that? Lovely, my dear. Lovely.
Carolyn Durandette - Big tears in my eyes as I try to type this. I admire you for all you’ve done! I think you are both beautiful!
Gina Kane - Beautiful post, and had tears streaming down my face to!!
Cynthia Greene Jordan - You’ve done it again Tammy (sniff sniff)..such a beautiful tribute to motherhood…never having had a daughter, I can honestly say that my feelings towards being my sons’ mother is quite the same!
Cathy Chester - Sniff, sniff. Oh, you’re there. After reading that I had a nice little cry. Okay, this is a beautiful post and so true. I miss the days of little ones around, but am proud of the person my son has become. Your daughter is blessed to have such a mom as you. Enjoy and embrace Mom’s Day, Tammy. With so much love surrounding you! xoxo
Cheryl Nicholl - My God I’m tearing-up. Just beautifully ‘put’ my friend. I also have seen my children grow and leave the nest, only to land a thousand miles away. I often times wonder what it must have been like for all the mothers that watched their children get on a boat and cross great oceans without any communication and never to return. Mothers are amazing.
Rosalind Warren - “Separate lives have never meant separate hearts.” Well said! Going forward, I know I’m going to quote this line.
Lisa at Grandma's Briefs - So beautiful, Tammy. The post AND your lovely daughter. So exactly how I feel about each of my daughters. It’s hard to put into words how very happy moms are for kids who have grown and gone, how very proud… but how very much our hearts long to connect more often, hug more often. Sweet, sweet post.
Tammy - Hi Cheryl, mothers ARE amazing! I’ve often wondered the same about those mothers who willingly gave their children to strangers so they might survive. I can’t even think about it … my heart starts to palpitate. A mothers love knows NO bounds. Always happy to have you in my neck of the woods. Thanks for that!
Tammy - Lisa, I think it’s in our nature as moms to always want more time and sharing with our kids. God certainly has a sense of humor to ask us to give everything we have, everything we are for 18 years, then BAM!, let it all go. Let’s just say that when I pass a mother bird in her nest feeding her new brood I try to warn her about the pain of having to teach them to fly and fell the nest. They never listen. It’s probably better that way.
Helene Cohen Bludman - So lovely, Tammy — your words and the photos made my eyes fill. Happy Mother’s Day to you!
Janie Emaus - That was so beautiful. I hope you’re a grandmother one day and can experience even more love and joy.
Mary - So beautiful, thank you for sharing! You have inspired me to write a letter to my first born. Happy Mother’s Day, Tammy!
Cheryl Shaw - Happy Mothers Day! We are lucky to be mothers and have great kids. We want the best for them and will always love them and worry about them, no matter what.
Tammy - Thanks, Helene, hoping it was a most wonderful Mother’s Day for you.
Tammy - Hi Mary, so happy to have been a bit of an inspiration. Writing to our kids is a keepsake of love. I adore the idea. Hope it was a wonderful day for you. So appreciate you stopping by ad sharing with me. Truly.
Tammy - Hi Cheryl, you said a mouthful. Yes, yes, and yes. Hope you had a great Mom’s Day. I know you deserve it!