The Heavenly Side of Things

As I have written in here before,  I started an email account to my young daughter. I send her emails with the intent of giving her the email/password when she is older.  These are all the things I struggle to tell her, just as my mother struggled to tell me.

Dear Bridget,

Under the heather colored sky of this early December morning, the world was quiet. The snow was a damper of sound & we felt alone in the cushy silence. We trudged through the blanket of snow to the bus stop. There we were, just you and I, hand in hand, kicking up a dusting of sparkling, iridescent cold with our boots…Stirring up the undisturbed white in the still, quietude of a winter morning felt like we were forcing our way through a tear in some earthly screen to the other more heavenly side of things.  

As we walked, we tried to catch snowflakes…lacy pinpricks of winter dissolving on our tongues. I asked you what your snowflake tasted like. Under the brightening skyline, you considered it deeply. “Cotton candy. Yours?” “Coconut,” I said looking down at you, smiling.  Popcorn, marshmallow, mint…a palette of flavors culled from our imagination assigned to each new flake we caught. Finally, I asked you what you thought the sun tasted like. Without hesitation you answered, “pineapple.” I laughed delightedly at your sure shot response. It was as though you had been waiting all your life to be asked this one whimsical question.

When we finally arrived at your bus stop, I realized with a brandywine-drunk-by-the-fire kind of warmth in my chest, that your mitten’d hand was still holding tight to my cold, bare hand. You’re almost 7 now, a “7 year old teenager” as you call yourself. These days, you mostly try to worm your hand out of mine & I am left chasing it with the desperate clutch of my own tired, utilitarian hand. Hands that washed you in the kitchen sink as you pursed your little rosebud lips at the new feeling of sudsy water….hands that held you to my chest, as I made promises (that I realistically know I can’t keep) to always protect you from the battering of a sometimes heartless world…hands that lovingly ruffled your beehive of curls, when you were but a nesting doll resting in my arms. Yes, my hands are deeply lined with the memories of holding you & I am not ready for your hands to leave mine…but I know the day is closer than I want to admit. For today, however, we inhabited some pretend world together & your hand was eclipsed in the protective shell of mine own. And I was happy, at peace.

When you consider having children, no one tells you it’s the little passing moments like these that will turn the crank on your world, keep it spinning like an unfettered globe. You think it’s the holidays, the milestones, & the big events that will be the ultimate—but it’s these brief brushes with your child’s pure & unconditional love for you that make you feel infinite in an otherwise forgetful universe. It’s these little collisions with your child’s adoring perception of you that give you aim and fire and grit. And it is in this fierce forging, Bridgey-Cat, that you have shown me as the person I have always wanted to be…a version of me that no other relationship has ever been able to gift me. And so, selfishly, I ask of you—hold my hand just a little bit longer. I know you’re a big girl & you no longer need it…but I do. Tell me about the taste of the sun, the taste of the earth, and I will describe how the flavor of both have been sweeter ever since you arrived.  

 Love,
Mom

 

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December 18, 2019

This is very beautiful

December 18, 2019

“It’s these little collisions with your child’s adoring perception of you that give you aim and fire and grit.”

Truer words never written.

 

December 19, 2019

😥This entry made me cry… more than anything because your kid’s going to have a treasure to hang onto when you’re gone (not to be morbid or anything, but I tend to take thoughts in that direction, since I don’t have letters from my Mom, and this just reminded me of how much I’d love to). Beautiful letter, btw…

December 22, 2019

@thenerve not morbid at all…. That’s exactly why I started it. Well that and the fact that I was afraid she wouldn’t understand how much I love her and her brother. I’m not always good at expressing my feelings to her verbally. My own mother has largely remained a mystery to me and our relationship is strained due to extenuating circumstances…and I just wish she had told me her feelings on things or reasonings for choices she made… I would have gladly settled just to know she loves me. So…in trying to break generational curses, I write to my kids. Thank you for your libs note!

December 22, 2019

Kind, not libs. Lol. Darn phone.

December 22, 2019

@thecriticsdarling – I understand. Although, to be fair, she’ll understand the day she has kids, the way you probably understand that you were loved and how much now that you walk in those shoes, right? 🙂  Either way, I’m totally for it. I think that asides from giving her the understanding you intend to give her, it’ll give her solace, and only those who’ve know the loss of a parent know how lifesaving that is!  <3

December 19, 2019

Ahhh. I needed this beauty, this eloquent and exquisite bittersweet tang today.

December 22, 2019

@mavis thank you for your nice note…glad this landed somewhere it needed to.

December 19, 2019

so. beautiful

December 22, 2019

@defenestration hey, thanks! Also, I recently was going thru old entries to compile for something and you had left notes bk in, like 2013 or 2014. It was kind of funny just happening to read them after seeing your note here.

December 19, 2019

Just lovely and a beautiful gift to give to your daughter.

December 22, 2019

@wildrose_2 thank you. I actually just went thru and put the letters together, along with entries/poetry I wrote while I was pregnant with her. It was really fun and sweet to read back thru.

December 20, 2019

Thats beautiful. I hope to have these poetic moments, if children do happen for me. Gah your writing is so smooth!

December 22, 2019

@free_spirit_gal You definitely will. You’re a person who shares so much with others, I can’t even imagine all the amazing moments you’ll have someday with your future child.

December 24, 2019
December 20, 2019

It is indeed the sweet little moments that count the biggest. Then I think that, even when your “seven-year-old teenager” is an actual teenager, you’ll still occasionally catch her wanting to hold your hand — which, for her, is surely an extension of love itself.

Schools are hardcore up your way. Those around here will sometimes close before it’s even started snowing (just out of “an abundance of caution”).

December 22, 2019

@drbajahi lol. If we closed everytime there was snow, we’d never send our kids to school here.

I know she’ll still need me, but I’ll miss the affection unencumbered by the embarrassment a teen feels about their parents. 🙂

December 22, 2019

I love this. Now I’m all teary.