With Love (A Mother's Letter)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mother's letter to her daughter.

Submitted: October 25, 2011

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Submitted: October 25, 2011




by Janis Ordonez

I remember the time
We went around the village,
You, in your little pink bike,
And me, pushing you from behind,
In the late afternoon;
How you were so afraid of the cats and dogs
That walked by,
But tried so hard to be brave,
Tried not to show me how scared you really were,
As you said nothing,
And continued to pedal,
While your gaze was fixed on that dog,
The huge, menacing beast that it was,
In your tiny world;

I remember the time
We went to the swings,
And you wanted me to push you
Higher and higher,
Until you could feel the wind
Rush through your face
And roar in your ears;
And we sang all the songs that you knew,
Until we couldn't think of any more,
And then we repeated them all,
Because you didn't want that moment to end;
But time must pass,
And I had work that needed finishing,
And you resigned yourself quietly to your fate,
Consoling yourself in having had even that brief moment
When I had no other care in the world
But to be with you;

I remember how much you longed to climb the monkey bars
But were too scared,
So I picked you up so you could hold onto them
Without fear of falling;
And how you clapped with glee when you got to the end and exclaimed,
"I did it, mommy, I did it!"
And I said, "Yes, you did it! You can do anything, see?"
And your eyes sparkled with that new faith in yourself;

I remember how you never wanted
To have water poured on your face
When you were having your bath,
Because to you it felt like drowning;
I would gently wipe your face with a cloth instead;
And slowly, in time, you were able
To pour water over your own face,
And it never escaped me
How proud you felt of yourself;

I remember our walk out to the road
To get a cab for ballet class
That Friday;
You were sporting your favorite pink ballet dress,
Shuffling uphill as fast as your little legs could take you,
Trying to keep pace with me
As the sun beat down on us in the noon hour;
It was hot,
But you bore it uncomplainingly,
The good-spirited soul that you were;
And you gushed instead about getting to see
The new friends that you had made in your class;
I had squeezed your small hands,
Holding back the tears in my eyes,
Because I knew of the pains you took
To overcome your shyness
In the desire to belong;

How I remember,
Just how much you loved to dance and sing!
Standing on the bed with a make-believe microphone,
Or in front of the mirror in a stylish outfit
That you had assembled for yourself,
Complete with your pink and white high-heeled slippers;
You would glance at me from the corner of your eye,
And I would pretend to be engaged in my paperwork,
And when you were satisfied that no one
Would pay any attention to you,
You sang and danced as if you had
A large audience in front of you,
Twirling and belting out Hannah Montana's songs,
Because you wanted so much to be like her;
Music was a great part of you;

I remember the love you put
Into your drawings;
You were always drawing;
I threw a few of them away one time,
Because you had so many better ones,
And I figured you wouldn't miss those ones,
Which seemed to have been scribbled
In your more nonchalant moods;
But I made a mistake because I saw
The hurt in your eyes
When you found them in the trash can and said,
"Mommy, why did you throw my drawings away?"
Because, I realized, everything you did,
You did with love,
Though to others like me,
They seemed like meaningless play;
Today, I keep everything you made that remains here,
Here in this house
That misses and still echoes
With your laughter;

You loved to laugh;
You loved it when we made up jokes,
And they were never very funny,
But we would roll over with laughter,
Simply because we loved laughing together;
You loved it when I held you down on the bed,
And tried to plant kisses on your face,
And you tried to escape, shrieking,
While your eyes beamed with joy,
At the thought of your mother wanting
To keep you locked in her embrace;

And you were a mother too;
I remember how much care you gave your dolls;
You loved each one dearly,
And gave each a special place of its own in your bed,
And made sure that they always had a blanket on them at night;
All of them had a name,
And all of them received your attention;
When you came home from a week at the grandparents'
You would run to them, saying,
"I'm home now! I've missed you!"
And proceed to hug them all,
Securing them in the knowledge
That you would always come back for them;

But there was one that you loved above all,
And it wasn't a doll, in fact,
But a pillow;
To you it was special, because
It had been with you since birth;
It had been with you through everything;
It was there to comfort you
When you awoke from a bad dream;
It was there with you when we had to go
Someplace far;
The one familiar thing you could hold onto,
When you were away from the safety of home;
It was there for you to bury your face in
When you felt angry or sad,
When mommy or daddy had scolded you;
It was there to absorb your tears,
The tears I knew you cried but
Would ignore when I thought
I was trying to teach you right;
It was there for you when no one else could be,
And you received its unconditional love
In its silence;
Yes, I understood;

There is so much I still remember of you,
So much still that I want you to know;
How I wish I could be with you now;
My heart aches when I see a little girl,
Holding her mother's hand
As they stroll through the mall;
How I wish I could comfort you,
And let you know
That everything will be alright,
That I will never stop loving you,
And how I hope you will understand
The things that I sought to do,
Because I wished so much to free myself,
So that I could free you,
If that was all I could truly give;

I still hope to be with you again,
So I could tell you everything;
Answer all the questions that have plagued you;
So we could laugh together,
And you could whisper your secrets
In my ear again,
The ones you're afraid of telling others
Because they might not understand,
But that you entrust to me,
With the faith of a child to the woman
Who has brought her into this world;
I hope I have deserved your trust;
My hope never dies;

Others may doubt the love that I have for you,
But that doesn't matter to me;
I love you,
Far beyond the love that
I thought I could ever give anyone;
And now I understand what it is to be a mother;
I see you;
My daughter,
I see you.

© Copyright 2018 Janis Ordonez. All rights reserved.

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