An open letter to my child:
Maybe someday you will read this. Maybe you’ll read it online — or maybe I’ll give you this letter when you have babies of your own. Or maybe you’ll find this letter next week and draw a flamingo on it (you’re on a big flamingo kick right now) and ask me to read it to you.
Mommy is TIRED today. You’re at school, and I miss you terribly. I’m wondering if you miss me too.
I wonder if you’ll remember this day. I wonder if you’ll remember what you did. Did you make a new friend? Did you laugh? Will you remember the picture you drew? I will, because I’ll save it. I save all of them.
I wonder if you’ll remember that Mommy was tired. Or if I was cranky, or if I was short with you, or if I yelled because you wouldn’t put your shoes on even though I asked you 57 times — nicely. I will, because I’ll spend the day wishing I hadn’t.
I wonder if you’ll remember the pumpkin patch this past weekend. I wonder if you’ll remember how much fun we had riding in a Bumpy Cow Train. I wonder if you’ll remember how much fun we had, how much fun we ALWAYS have, because I try to pack in as many memories as I can in the minutes I have you. I will — I’ll remember these things.
I wonder if you’ll remember that mommy worked a lot. I wonder if you’ll remember that mommy was always on her phone answering an email or a work text. I will, because I want to provide you with the best life I can. I’ll remember because in between those emails I hope I’m not missing anything with you.
I wonder if you’ll remember when your Mom and Dad were together under one roof. I wonder if you’ll remember when you and Mommy moved out. I wonder if you’ll remember that Mommy was happier after this, a better version of herself — for you. Because I will. I’ll rethink that decision every day until you grow up and tell me that it was the best thing for us, and that you understood.
I wonder if you’ll remember that time you were sick and I stayed up all night; listening to your breathing. Checking your temperature without waking you. Holding you. Because I will — I’ll remember those things forever.
I wonder if you’ll remember that Mommy loved you. I wonder if you’ll remember FEELING it. Because I will. It’s so intense and unforgettable and at the forefront of my mind and heart at all times.
I wonder these things because — I don’t remember being small like you. I don’t remember my mom, your CiCi, struggling to make ends meet as a single mom. I don’t remember her being stern, or short-tempered, or tired. I don’t remember her working so much to provide for me. But I KNOW these things, because she’s told me. Just like I’m telling you.
If you ever wonder what it was like, I hope you remember how loved you were. And if you’re reading this right now, and the year is 2050 — and you have your own babies (and maybe a DeLorean) — come back and visit. Come visit this day — when you were three years old and mommy was 30 — and she was loving you as best she could. And do her a favor — tell her it meant something. Tell her everything she was going through — for us — was worth something. It MEANT something.
Tell me it meant something.