Over a year has come and gone since you were lovingly brought into this world. I cannot explain to you how you have changed my world, but I can express my thankfulness from the lessons you have taught me so far.
Thank you for teaching me a lesson in humility in my own identity. Your birth was not a gentle one for my body. It had unexpected complications, which rendered me helpless and largely immobile in your early moments and weeks of life. Where I was once so attached to my body and how it looked, I have learned that it does not make me. I have had to endure some ugly effects of birth, but was no less loved by your father, or myself. In those early days, I was able to reframe and let go of the image of perfection I have always held so close. I learned to appreciate and focus on another being. I have learned the strength I have both physically and emotionally to care for you.
The focus I have to create an exceptional life for you has spurred me to attack launching this business with a ferocity that I didn’t know simmered deep within me. I want to show you what a woman can do if she demands it from herself and society. I want you to know that you can depend on yourself for success, not just financially, but the reward that comes from being self made. In the process, I want you to see the mark you can leave on society, and the power you wield when you build something with a worldview in mind. Without you, I don’t believe I would have tapped into this drive to change, to leave my small, insulated and selfish bubble. For, that, I will be eternally grateful.
You have shown me a depth of empathy that I didn’t know I had. My struggles with both pre-natal and post-natal depression have shown me despair, frustration, anger, and eventually self-reflection. This process has broadened my ability to feel for and understand other mothers around me, and ultimately, remove me from a brutal world of judgment that often surrounds the mom community. Should I decide to ever gift you with a sibling, these past struggles will arm me with knowledge to ask for help. Should you go on to have your own children, I can support you if you share this same struggle.
I appreciate your father in new ways. I can see the love and tenderness he has for you. I can see the drive he has to ensure your safety and happiness, the opportunities he sees for you, and his excitement with each of your changes. He loves you so fervently, and our love for one another is forever changed because we created you. You are a reflection of us both, and we see the best parts of one another in you.
You have taught me to value my own mother in a new and earnest way. While I have only been a mother for a short time, I can understand why she did things the way she did when I was a child. I understand the weight of having to make choices to guide a small being to become an adult. The mother-daughter relationship is complex, and I now understand why. I recognize things I have done in the past that were hurtful, and it has opened new lines of communication and respect between your Nan and I. Without you, this could not have happened.
Mostly, you have taught me how to love. This is a love so deep, so intoxicating, so enduring, so unconditional, and so overpowering that “to the moon and back” just isn’t big enough.