20 Dec 2015

On her 10th birthday

I thought I had willed her into being, I foolishly and arrogantly imagine I had created her from myself, from my dreams, my thoughts, my aspirations, I imagined I can see myself again, only better, myself with more; more opportunities, more space to feel, more room to grow, but most importantly myself loved. I believe I had a glimpse of that, but as she celebrated her tenth birthday with her friends yesterday I saw that I was naive, she wasn’t me, she wasn’t myself living a much better life than I had, she was separate from me, a full, complete and intact person, with her own ideas, with her own intentions and desires. The bond I imagined unbreakable never really existed except in my mind and I felt almost selfish for only seeing her through my own eyes, never seeing her through hers. The baby that came to me wide eyed and adoring “mummy, can I have this?”, “mummy, can I do that?” was now loud, vulgar and almost unkind “No Mom! we don’t need anything, we’re fine” I almost heard “just leave us alone” implied but  not quite said out loud. I saw her exaggerating her excitement, her laughter at every nonsense she and her friends said or did, her carelessness and indifference towards me, the garish music they played and how they closed the door when they danced not wanting me to watch. Even her body language seemed to initiate a distance and a foreignness I could not bridge. This was her world, her private self, the stranger she managed to create far from my imposing and heavy motherly attention and I couldn’t be a part of it, in that world I did not exist, as if no space was capable of holding both me and that cool independent pre-teen version of her at the same time. I retreated to my room and read a book only checking every once in while to see if they needed anything. Once her friends were gone and I managed to clean up some of the mess they made she came to me again, small, timid and loving “thank you mummy, today was great” my eyes teary, understanding now how hard it was for both of us, playing these roles, needing each other to understand without words, how multicoloured love can be, how many endless hues it had warm and cold, how much it can hurt, how much it can take.