As a mother, I know enough not to judge anybody else’s parenting or mothering skills or approach. I always say that we can only parent the way we know how, and in the way we know best. No one can teach you to become a good mother or parent. We all just do the best we can. And this is a story of how I did it, at least in all the past seven years. Last year, I embarked on this two-month journey on my own to find myself and thankfully, I did. I came home with the realisation that I must prepare my daughter for a life without me and I came home with a journal. In this journal, I write letters to her when I can, for her to read in the future when she is much older and hopefully, much wiser. Let me share with you what I wrote on the very first page…
What Just Happened Moment One:
Our bags were packed, the grandma is already at home ready to take the babysitting duties for the next three days, and I’m saying goodbye to the little one.
Mama: “Lia, mama is leaving.”
Lia: “Mama, are you going to worp? (her K’s are P’s right now)”
Mama: “No, but mama is going far away.”
Lia: “I’m going with you.”
Mama: “No baby, you can’t go with Mama this time.”
Lia: “No? Mama, stay here….” (pulling me over to lay down on the bed with her)
Mama: “Mama has to go, but Mama will be back very soon. And Mama Helen will be here to take care of you.”
Lia to her grandma: “Mama Helen, I want teem (teem is milk).”
Lia then goes over to me, puts her face very close to mine, holds my face in both her hands, looks into my eyes and whispers: “Go mama, go. Take care. Have fun,” and kisses me.
Wow. What did just happen?
I found Lia this morning in the mood for, shall we say, a little photo shoot. She is more often than not reluctant for one. I was able to take about four photos, four photos with her doing her idea of a smile.
When I told her to do “a pretty smile,” that about ended it all.
Here is what I think the best of the batch (of four), in which, her father commented, “Is she laughing or crying? But I vote for constipated.”