Today you are 15 months old. Another three months has come and gone and with it you have changed and grown and become more of yourself. Every day you surprise me and you change me. Life is nothing without growth and change, and you intrinsically know this. you are still such a primal creature, you want for only what you need. Love and food and warmth and safety. All of those things I am so lucky to be able to provide you with ease.
Sure we don’t have our own house yet, we don’t have a lot of money in the bank, we don’t have a reliable car or a fancy wardrobe or any idea what the future will bring. But what we do have is enough. We have enough food and enough warmth and enough shelter. We have more than enough love to go around. We have each other. And kid, that is more than enough. Sometimes I wonder how I’m going to be “enough” for you, enough of a mother, enough of a leader, enough of a care giver. I wonder how I can do the job of two when I am only one. But then I see the way that you look at me and the trust in your hands when you reach out to me and the love in your eyes when you wave to me when you wake up in the morning. And I realise, I’m already doing it. We’re doing it together. And we are enough.
There are lots of things that I want to teach you, but every day you teach me twice as much as I could hope to show you. You are already role playing with your toys, you climb into cardboard boxes and feed them and give them drinks and cuddle and kiss them and sing your funny little songs into their ears. You show me what love is. You show me how to slow down and how to appreciate every moment even when I’m exhausted and weary, you are there, smiling, with nothing but laughter and joy (and hair pulling, with the best of intentions).
I’ve been thinking a lot over the past days, weeks, months, about what it is that I have learned in my 27 years about life that I want to show you. What it is I want you to learn. There are a lot of things, of course, and I’ve mentioned them in my past letters to you, but if there was just one thing…. what would it be? Then the other day I was having a bit of trouble with my own emotions. I was struggling with my own grief and my own fear about my future, I was having a bit of a private moment, as people do, I was overwhelmed by the hugeness of it all. I was searching for the answer. And I found it. I took a deep breath and I reminded myself to be kind, to myself. To be gentle with myself. And that’s it. That’s what I want for you.
If I am to show you anything it is how to be kind. How to understand your power as a human being and the great responsibility that comes along with it. The responsibility to be kind to the world around you, the responsibility you have to be kind every person you come in contact with in your life. The responsibility you have to yourself, to be kind to yourself even when life get’s hard, and it does. It really does some times. To be kind to yourself even when you make mistakes. To be kind to yourself and to others even when the world seems cruel.
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” Pema Chodron
More babies will (hopefully) come to our family one day, but you will always be the person who changed me. The person that gave me the most important role that I have ever held in my life. The role of the mother. You will always be the person who changed me, who gifted me perspective and kindness and patience beyond anything I had before. Thank you, Bo. Thank you.
I used to yearn for adventure, and I still do, and we will go and do some amazing things together and separately. But I’m no longer searching, the wild I always searched for is in you now. You are my wild. You are my greatest adventure.
I love you.
Your Mama, always.