My Presence In Motherhood: An Open Letter To My Sons
To my boys,
My sweet Layton and My mighty McLayne,
You have heard, and will continue to hear people questioning the choices I make as your mother. People that we love, the people we are closest to, and complete strangers will always have something to say. I want you to know the extent of my love and the importance of the choices I am making as I raise you. My sweet boys, my love for you could over flow the oceans of the world. In becoming your mother, I did not lose myself. I found her. I can do without fancy clothes. I’d rather wear rags so I can move freely as we play together on the floor. I can walk much more gracefully in sensible shoes. It’s much less difficult to chase you in flats rather than heels. I’ll choose messy hair every day if it means that I can have just a few more minutes with you. Friendships can wait. No earthly being is more important than you.
I will lead through your guidance.
I will hold you until my arms ache, if that is what you need. When your weight is more than I can carry, I will always find the strength. I will walk the longest path, or climb to the highest peak with one of you on my front, and the other on my back, if that is what it takes to make you happy. Whether it is three hours, two minutes, or even for only a second, my arms will carry you for as long as you need them.
Angle babies, we can share our bath time until you’re ready to bathe on your own. I am not ashamed for you to see me naked. I am not afraid to explain the differences in our anatomy. I will never hide my flaws, and you will never hear me call myself fat or ugly in front of you. I want you to love yourselves, as well as others. I want you to find respect for the differences that others may have. Beauty is only skin-deep. When the time comes, I want you to remember the showers we shared, the games we played, and the songs we sang at the top of our lungs. I will remember your tiny fingers rubbing the soap off my legs. I will remember the echoes of your laughter as you pretended to swim on the shower floor. I will remember making the choice to shower with you, so we had more time together in the evenings. I will never regret that choice.
I will continue to nourish you from my body until you are ready to wean, my loves. Whether it is for nourishment or just for comfort, I will let you decide when it is time for us to stop. If you want to drink my milk from a cup, I will pump it for you. You will be who decides when you are too old, or too big. It will never matter where we are, or how many eyes can see. I do not do this for me, although I savor each quiet moment, each tiny moment when we are still, and we breathe as one again. I will be here for every single moment that you need me. I will never rush you.
My sunshine(s), you will never know how tired I am. You will never understand that these dark circles under my eyes didn’t exist before you were here, but I will never let you cry in the night. I will wake for you, a million times. I will be there, in the dark, when you reach out your arms, every time. There is no amount of sleep that will ever outweigh your security. I am your mother, and your safe place. For you, I will be tired forever.
Nights out, and time away will still be there when you are grown. I only get to keep you for a short time; so those solo trips to the grocery store are all I need for now. Even on our worst days, my heart is happiest where you are.
The world often disagrees with the choices I make as a mother, my tiny boys, but when you are old and grown, I want you to look back with fond memories of your childhood. I don’t want you to just see me there as a fuzzy image in your mind, I want you to feel my warmth and my total presence. I want you to remember that even when I was tired, overwhelmed, and even lonely, I was there. I will never regret any choice I have made as your mother, if it means that you will remember me in your best memories, your favorite memories. I am not a perfect mother, but these are the choices I make for you. Yours are the only voices my ears hear. Your happiness is all that I live for. You are the favorite chapter in my story, and your presence here gives me wings.
I will love you forever,
JOURNALIST: Kayleigh Elliott
IMAGE CREDIT: Rosina Wachs Photography