A friend of mine wrote a love letter to her children, inspired by another mother who did the same… writing to a child who misbehaved and didn’t listen well but who she loved just the same… Wishing to express her love, somehow, to her precious child. In turn, I was inspired to write my own love letter to my children… my very special and unique children.
To My Beautiful Children, Olivia, Brian and Michael:
It seems a million years ago! This gift that you’ve given me… that I could not have were it not for you. This life that I live now. It has always been. This love that I feel… It could not be, would not be, so fulfilling without you, my precious and perfectly imperfect children. And I am the ever more imperfect mother muddling through this crazy adventure, this wondrous adventure, one day at a time, one adventure after another, linked together with tears and laughter and love… always love! More love than I could ever have imagined.
The miracle of traits handed down that spring up like crocuses on the first warm day. Seeing again, often seeing for the first time, nature’s miracles like budding acorns, the rainbow track of a slug with it’s beautiful leopard stripes and spots. “Aren’t slugs beautiful, Mommy?” I don’t know if I ever felt the tickle of a snail crossing my palm or the flutter of a butterfly’s wings on my face before you. Or, maybe I just didn’t notice the way I do now… with you! I love watching wishies float away and the way you come running to show me your newest 4-leaf-clover. Watching you hesitantly feel each blade of grass on your tender feet and toes. Your toes, the big one spread delicately “too far apart from the others” they said. But they work perfectly, don’t they? The line across each of your palms… each unique by hand and by child. You! To see the curve of each child’s chin… 3 beautiful, unique chins that are so like my own. But, the curve of her full brow like Daddy’s. The boys’ brow like mine again. You talk all the time… me! But, use your hands and describe the tiniest details… Daddy! Who is the engineer… and the flirt! Who is the scientist… and the nature-lover! Who is the entertainer… and the romantic! You are all exactly what you are meant to be. And, you have made me what I am, what I am meant to be. Your Mom!
What amazing miracles occurred to bring you here to me! Every cell dividing just exactly as it was supposed to… despite the “mistakes”… because of the mistakes. I love you all the more because there is more of you to love! Those beautiful, miraculous mistakes, on the inside , on the outside, the ones God made for you, for us, and the ones you make for yourself. Who is always late? Who came 8 weeks early? Who will struggle to be on time? Who cares? And, who does not? Joy and pain, ease and struggle, intermingled in this beautiful life you’ve given me.
Black eyes, burned bellies, scraped knees, bloody lips, bruised bums… ER visits, hospital stays… all part of the pain of growing up. The pain of mothering. I am sorry I was not there to prevent it each time. But, I am and will always be here to comfort you and help get you through it.
Olivia — Your birth is my strongest and most pride-filled moment bringing me a sense of me that had never existed before you and could never be matched again. And, unbelievably, it was just a brief prelude to this wondrous journey called motherhood. Your knowing eyes assure me. Your kind heart and loving nature warm me. Your interests — dinosaurs, butterflies, snakes & alligators, kittens, birds, frogs, all creatures great and small, as they say — and your command of language fully engage me daily. As you gallantly surpass each milestone, soaring beyond peaks I never even dreamed of, I am mesmerized by you… Truly you are the most amazing and fascinating person I know. You have an innate sense of sisterhood and empathy for every living thing that I hope someday to achieve myself. With each compliment you receive on your outer beauty, you humbly sparkle from the inside. Each beauty mark that emerges belying your inner beauty and mapping out your love of life, your laughter and your [6th] sense of just knowing. This is who you are… your core… your essence… This is what makes you YOU my beautiful Olivia! And, why I love you so.
Brian — My Romeo. I do not know why giving birth to you and your little brother 8 weeks early was not so worrisome to me. Neither was the news that you were both blessed with an extra 21st chromosome. I guess, deep down, I knew all along that you would be fine. You were ready to grace me with your presence and that’s why you broke the water and breathed on your own. I’m certain you knew I was in pain with all the pulled muscles, sprains and spasms in my body… And, you would never do anything to hurt me. You feel the pain and hurt of others so personally. Especially mine… I know. Your kindness, generosity and desire to share and make others feel loved is a gift from God. Such a wondrous gift… Your gift to me! From the soft fuzz on the back of your neck to the pink bottoms of your feet and everything in between… your pudgy-little thumbkins and that line — the telltale line that shows itself on one hand but not the other — that makes you one in a million. My one-of-two in a million… you and your brother. The sparkle of love in your eye ignites the sparkle of love in my heart. “Ohhhh, Mama” with an Indiana Jones kiss… just for me. Only for me. Forever for me!
Michael — Such beauty! He resembles the face of God, my guardian angel. My engineer. You will fix everything. You have certainly fixed everything that was once amiss in my life. Your reluctance to be here early but finally adhering to your brother’s wishes was a precursor of sorts. You are forever the cautious “twin”. The one who holds back and says, “No Bri Bri!” But, that Hollywood smile belies your true nature, your desire to know how things work, to understand everything about everything. Your loving heart as you rain your gentle affection down on the cats and dogs — especially Molly. She is truly your dog Michael! And, how you love her. Almost as much as you love to laugh. Constantly, you look for reasons and ways to encourage me, to entice you into a full belly laugh… over and over again. You desperately WANT me but you do not want me to know that you want me or, God forbid, that you need me or anyone, for that matter. You can do it all yourself. I know. How “me” you are! It is in your eyes. Those beautiful greenish-blue, ever-so-slightly almond eyes give you away. The thoughts you speak with them say it all. And, in our most intimate moments, you look deep into me, you smile for me, you snuggle up to me and we become one. That beautifully light peach fuzz at the top of your neck tickles my lips, I can see through your guise. I can see the person who loves to be loved. Who loves to be hugged and touched, played with and attended to despite your insistent independence. I can see through to a most amazing and intellectual little man contained in that precious 4-year-old body. My heart aches for my love of you!
How can I have been so lucky to be thrice blessed with these most amazing children? These most wondrous human beings entrusted to me… Put in my care by a God who knew that I could not help but love them fully just as they are. My heart aches and grows like a muscle torn and repaired, made stronger every day by the love Olivia and Brian and Michael give so easily and so unconditionally to me. Thank you GOD for these, the most beautiful gifts I will ever receive in my life. The beautiful little lives, hearts and souls of my three beautiful children!