My daughter, Alexis, writes on her blog today, about taking her first pregnancy test. Now, I must clarify, I am not a grandmother and have not been pestering my daughters about making me one. I leave that decision and the timing of it, or not, completely up to them. But, when I read the first line of her blog, my little mind quickly jumped to that place of “What! Really? Oh my! I’m going to be a….” Only to have whatever excitement, hope, anticipation that had arisen dashed when she said there was no second blue line.
And then, I read the last two paragraphs of her post.
What I do know is that if a second blue line had appeared, I would be doing everything in my power to nourish and protect the life inside me now. I would be eating clean and eating well. I’d be sleeping lots and fostering my happiness.
So maybe the lesson here (aside from the fact that I need to get my hypochondria checked out) is that the person I am giving birth to is myself. And if I’m going to come out healthy and happy and strong, it is time I began nourishing my body and feeding my soul.
I gave birth to this brilliance? I gave birth to this young woman who sees so deeply into our human angst, who is so fearless in her capacity to be vulnerable, open and real about not only her recovery from an eating disorder, but also her struggle to be vulnerable, open and real in life.
Twenty-seven and twenty-five years ago when I gave birth to my two amazing daughters I had no idea that they would become my greatest teachers. I had no clue that to become a mother meant having to allow my children to teach me what it means to ‘trust in love’ and to be vulnerable, open and real.
Sure, in the haze of newborn love and the days of sleepless nights, it feels at first as if it’s about changing diapers, mid-night feedings and trying to scrape a few moments together to wash your face or even sneak a nap. And yes, there are the countless firsts to treasure. First smiles, steps, words, pictures drawn and stories told. There are the first days of school, sleep-overs, ears pierced and dating. There are the first times they drove, the first pair of high heels, stockings, first days of high school, first time their heart was broken, the first time they broke a heart and the first time they swore they’d never love again.
But more than all the firsts and all the sleepless nights spent worrying about where they are, or how they’re doing, or what will they do, or not do, there are the lessons learned. The teachings embraced. The moments that simply take my breath away because they are so amazing, incredible, wise and beautiful and absolutely right.
Last night, my youngest daughter and I had our weekly dinner together. We sat and chatted and laughed and shared stories and talked about life and love and being real. “Thank you for always leaping at the opportunity to have dinner together,” I told her. And she smiled and replied, “I love our dinners together.”
And my heart melted and I was reminded, again, how blessed and precious each moment is that I can spend with these two young women who have taught me so much about loving, living and letting go.
My eldest daughter lives in Vancouver now. We don’t get as much time together and I miss just being able to go for coffee, or a walk, or sit over a leisurely meal to chat and share. My youngest daughter is planning a year abroad to take her Masters. Next fall, she’ll be gone, and who knows where she’ll end up. “I might meet a nice Scottish boy and never come back to Canada,” she jokingly told me last night. (She knows how to push my buttons that young one! 🙂 )
But again, I am reminded of one of the greatest lessons in Love my daughters have taught me. My job as their mother isn’t to hold them close, it’s to watch them and celebrate them and cheer them on as they fly free.
Love doesn’t need physical presence to grow. It already is. Everywhere. What I need to know its essence is an open heart. Love doesn’t need a new car, or pretty dress or sparkly jewellery, it simply requires space to grow wild and passionate. It needs space to expand into and around and under and over. And in my heart is all the space love needs to know that no matter where my daughters are in the world, they are always at home in my heart.
Now, about those grandchildren…. 🙂