What kind of.
I don't bake cookies. Very often.
I don't drive a mini van. Although it would likely make my kid time more reasonable.
I don't have a Costco membership. Even though I have Costco size appetites up in here.
But I do.
It's something we learn. A human thing. A woman thing. All the ways we are. Not.
An invisible measuring stick I like to think I've done a good job of ignoring.
For the most part.
I don't write about my mom. I write about my dad and the chaos of his being. Never my mom. A fragile line that is not to be crossed.
Until today. I write about her because I have spent a lifetime of missing her even though she is in plain sight. As am I--completely visible, yet hiding behind collective memories, words, and yearning.
So today I write about the warmth of her. The softness of her. How she felt in my tiny hands. How I would shake when she would leave me at kindergarten and the heart wrenching relief when she picked me up at days end. How she would measure my arms, legs, waist, and tiny torso so that she could design my clothes. How she would brush my fine hair declaring it soft and beautiful. How she would hide her favorite cookies retrieving only one during her soap opera at 11:30 am and another after everyone went to bed at 9:30 pm. How she would smile and lock eyes with me when she would find me in my hiding place, watching her eat that delicious pinwheel cookie.
I was beautiful and smart in her eyes. Even when I sucked my thumb, pushing my front teeth out ever so slightly forward.
And then the things started happening. Unsafe. Unsafe. I fought my way through because my will is always strong. I am, if nothing else, very brave. Or just very unwilling to lose.
I told her twice. Once directly after. The second, a few years later because I couldn't keep it from her anymore--the shame too big a burden to bear. Not all of it. Just enough so that she would know I was hurt. But no action was taken. The first aid box did not come out like it did for cuts and scrapes. The consequences were too high. And so the division began; the unease of pushing pedals in the wrong gear--too high with no momentum to fulfill the revolution.
The unsaid spinning and spinning; the stories becoming the default rather than the truth. Because the truth is we never want our daughters to hurt. As women, we know a level of betrayal and hurt that separates us from sons and fathers. The legacy of a culture allowed to be inequitable for far too long.
It is never too late to begin again--to let old stories die so that new ones can be born. And so I write today because I recognize that momming means loving everyone, including yourself. Especially yourself. No exceptions.