Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Words for a Younger Self

I miss my Angels.  I have known them for my entire life.  From the time that I was a very little girl, I knew that first and foremost, I wanted to be a Mommy.  And although I lived the first twenty-five years of my life without the physical presence of my children, I could still feel their essence and the fact that they would someday be.  I could feel that there were some beautiful souls who were waiting to come into the world who would call me Mom.  I did not really think too much about what else I had come here to do, because my initial calling was clear.  I was going to become a Mother.  

It began with Angel Daughter Number One.  She was conceived in 1986, two years after Mark and I had graduated from college and the year that the Mets won the World Series.  I remember this because my husband is a huge Mets fan and the night that they won the championship, I found out that I was pregnant.  We certainly had hit a home-run.  In 1987, AD1 came into the world after an excruciatingly long night of labor followed by a Cesarean-section.  Motherhood by fire.  We had a bit of a rough start together.  Breast-feeding was something that I was determined to do, since I felt like I had somehow failed at labor and delivery.  Silly me.  If I could go back and Mother my twenty-five year old self, I would tell her that that idea is complete rubbish.  I would tell her that it is not about how a baby enters this world, but the idea that the baby enters with love and security, that matters.  I would tell her that her determination to nourish her daughter through her own body was a very honorable thing to do.   I would tell her to be patient with herself because at twenty-five, there is still a lot of growing up to do.  I would give her a hug.

Two and a half years after Angel daughter Number One was born, Angel Daughter Number Two came into our family.  Born with a full head of dark hair, she was one of the most beautiful newborns I had ever seen.  My labor with AD2 was difficult, but gentler.  I understood more about what becoming a Mother meant.  When the doctor told me that I was going to have to have another C-section, I cried, but I allowed myself some slack.  I was learning that having a baby meant much more than an easy labor, followed by an easy recovery.  I realized after AD2's birth, that it did not matter how much my body had to endure in order to deliver my babies safely into this world, as long as the end result was a healthy, happy little being.  If I could go back and talk to my then twenty-seven year old self, I would tell her that I was very proud of how she was evolving into a Mother.  I would remind her of how much easier breast-feeding had become by baby number two because she had relaxed.  Without anyone available to properly teach me about how to be a Mother, I had taught myself by instinct and by faith.  
At age twenty-nine, I delivered Angel Daughter Number Three via a planned C-section.  After AD2 was born, my doctor was kind enough to record the reason for my failed natural deliveries which was simply because my pelvis was too small.  I was told that if I was a woman living forty years earlier who was trying to deliver a child, both my baby and I would have died during labor.  Plain and simple, I was not a failure.  My body was just different.  Angel Daughter Number Three came into this world on the first day of Spring.  It was a rainy March, but the brightness of this baby's spirit shined brightly when I held her close.  I was firmly entrenched in the job that I had always known I was meant for.  With AD3 came a certain amount of self-assured confidence that made me a better Mother.  AD3 made it simple for me to feel that way with her easy smile and deep belly-laughs.  I was a practiced mother with several years of good experience to draw from.  With AD3 came assurance and poise.  If I were to have a conversation with my twenty-nine year old self, I would tell her to relax more.  I would tell her that she is doing a fine job and that she should always honor her instincts when it comes to her children.  Too many people are apt to offer up unwanted or unwarranted advice, but not enough support.  As the mother of three, you already know what to do.  Walk through your days with the knowledge that you have done a wonderful job so far.
Angel Daughter Number Four showed up less than two years later.  I say "showed up" because she was a bit of a surprise.  We knew we wanted one more child, we were just not exactly sure about the timing.  AD4 made that decision for us.  She knows this and we joke about it.  She was the most welcome of surprises.  She joined our family in her own time and we are so grateful that she did.  She was also born by a planned C-section, very calmly.  She quietly made her entrance and then stared me right in the eyes as if to say, "I have been waiting patiently for this day."  The theme song from the Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, played quietly on the radio in the background.  Somebody was kind enough to bring this to our attention and I am so happy that they did.  When they swept my littlest Angel away from me to weigh her, clean her, etc., I thought about my three other Angels who were waiting at home.  I thought about my four little girls.  I knew we were finished having children, but I could not quite put the idea to rest.  It took us another couple of years to finalize the decision.  So what would I tell my thirty-one year old self if I could talk to her now?  I would tell her to be happy with her family of six.  I would tell her that she was doing what she was called to do by raising her daughters full-time.  I would let her know that her girls would turn out to be amazing women...Just as she had.  Five women(and one adorable, loving man) going through different stages of life, separately, but together.


So what would I tell my younger self, now that I finally have the time to put a complete thought together, once again.  Now that my youngest Angel is fifteen years old and my oldest is almost twenty-two?  What would I say knowing that I am quickly approaching a time when all four of my Angel Daughters will no longer reside with me under the same roof?  I would tell her to remember that even before her children were here, she could feel the essence of them.  I would tell her that  she knew that they would be joining her from a very spiritual place and that she would someday have to relinquish having them all to herself into a world where feeling their essences would have to suffice at times.  I would tell her that she should be secure in knowing that she has done her job well.

As my daughters grow up, year after year, I miss them.  I sometimes long to hear their voices, while stroking their hair.  But I know that the stronger and more independent that they become, the stronger and more independent that I will have to become.  And just as they invent themselves, so will I have to reinvent myself.  For life should not cease to transform just because we have accomplished one of our callings.

I would hope that my older self would tell my forty-six year old self that there will be many more acts to this play.  I would hope that she would tell me that I have so much more to accomplish, other callings to explore, many more births to attend to.  I would hope that she would look me in the eyes, while draping a cozy blanket softly around my shoulders.  That she would kiss me gently on the cheek and say, "I am so proud of the woman you will become."


*Just a reminder that you can still enter my gratitude giveaway.  Just go back to my previous post for instructions!

**Yesterday's giveaway is now closed.  Thanks so much for entering!  I will announce the winner by Saturday, March 21!

14 comments:

jojo said...

I can chance one look at any of your beautiful daughters and kknow that you have done well. You have made their journey here safe, and soon you will find your self renewed. As my daughter recently told me, the best is yet to come. Believe it...j)

Catherine Holman said...

I truly enjoy seeing pictures of your beautiful Angel daughters! What a great mom you are!

I'm glad you like your paintings and I'm happy they have a good home!
Hugs,
Cathie

jenX67 said...

wow. i was feeling weepy today, and this really helped me connect w/ all that is on my mind.

you are a beautiful person! love just permeates off the pages of this blog. it isn't the same for everyone, you know.

Blue said...

i had to hold back a tear as i read this post debbie. my angels are 12 and 9, and the past dozen years have zoomed by. i know i have only minutes left with them under my wings, metaphorically speaking. and i'm doing all i can to fill those minutes with happy memories, bonds to carry us through the years, wisdom, the spirit, and love. but i already grieve a tiny bit inside at the thought of not having them with me every single day of their lives. i've told them they need to carefully pick the person they will add to our little family, because i always wanted more children. their spouses will be the children i had to wait to meet, but whom i've also prayed for since i first gazed upon my newborn babies countenances. that they will find pure, loving partners who will share the joy and pains of life with them. what more could a mommy ask for?

i can't even start to wrap my head around grandbabies yet though. i'm sure i'll have some happy surprises to look forward to when i do. ♥

Ness said...

I'm so blessed to have met you. God gave you the talent of expression and through your words, I have been blessed beyond measure. Down the road Angelettes(children of angels) will climb on your lap and you can tell them the beautiful stories of finding the sea glass and all the fun you had with your Angel Daughters.

Thank you for sharing. Your posts always lift my day. Love, Ness

Jenn-n-n said...

Debra,

Such a beautiful post. I read with tears in my eyes, the things you would say to your younger self mirror things I would say to my younger self.

It's funny how as time passes, things that seemed like such a big deal really weren't.

Life sure is funny that way.

Jenn

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Irene Latham said...

Debbie - like you I knew the one thing I wanted most in my life was to be a mother. I still feel like it is the most important thing I will ever do. Happy Birthday to AD3! I too and the third child... good place to be. And yes, motherhood is certainly an evolutionary process. Thank you for this thoughtful, heartfelt post. xxoo

Sabi said...

Debbie

as usual beautiful postiing ... nice to read your blog once again i was busy so didnt get a chance to come online

take care
sabi

Poetikat said...

Angels and Animals! You and I would get along well.

I posted a comment about Micah below - what a sweetheart!

Please direct me to the "Sandman" post.

Kat

rivergardenstudio said...

Being a mother has been such a joy for me. Like you, a beautiful gift that I cherish. thank you for sharing the story of your daughters... They are so lucky to have you! roxanne

Peggy Payne said...

Debbie, Beautiful story--and you're obviously a terrific mother. It's such a gift to know from the start what your calling is. Peggy

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