Hi Little Bean!
It has been too long. I have been remiss in my letters to you. I am sorry. I will do better.
Tonight you wept in my arms, holding me tight in a koala bear hug, long legs wrapped around my waist, arms around my neck, crying into my neck that you never wanted me to go away, that you were afraid I would die before you, that you also didn’t want to make me sad, but that sometimes you didn’t want to hug and kiss me as much as you used to and you knew that made me sad.
Big breath. Many deep breaths as I rocked you and held you and heard you. I didn’t tell you I wasn’t going to die. I want us both to be prepared for that, someday, hopefully, a long way away, but still, one never knows. And our culture does a pretty spectacular job of not preparing us for it when it does happen. I try to be as honest with you as I can. About life, death, sex, and taxes. You roll your eyes at me more often than not these days and say in an exasperated tone, “Oh mom, pleeeeeaaaassssse….can we NOT talk about that now!?” In the car on the way to your playdate today I asked you if you knew what sex was, and you said you did so I asked you to explain it to me. You said that a sperm and an egg come together in the woman’s body and then a baby grows. I asked if you knew how the sperm got there? Blank stare. So I said, “The penis ejaculates the sperm into the woman’s vagina. That is how. And I use the operative word here “woman.” Because if takes a long time to be ready to handle that kind of responsibility.” Rolling eyes, exhausted sigh, music turned up, but I don’t care. My job is to prepare you for this world. To leave nothing out.
As I wipe your tears away tonight I remind you that my job is to take care of me, and you and your job is to learn to take care of you. And that if you have self-awareness and self-regulation skills and are a good person, then I did an awesome job, and I think we are a slam dunk nailed it so far a thousand percent.
Pony, you inspire me with your sweetness and wisdom. You say things that blow my mind away. Your emotional intelligence is beyond anything I ever had, and you are only eight. Your humor brightens my day and makes me belly laugh. The joy of watching you grow up and to see you become more and more independent is at both times the most incredibly wonderful thing I have ever known and also the most heartbreaking. You asked me if I got sad when you didn’t want to hug or kiss me. I paused. Wondering how to say it straight without burdening you. And that is when we began the paradox rollercoaster of growing up. For you and me. That you will always be my baby, and I am sometimes sad about the things that fall away as you need me less and less, but also how fucking proud I am of you that you actually know your own body and can say No to me. Hell yeah. That rocks.
You are stronger than I will ever be. And that makes me happy.