Nothing Between Us

Dearest Daughter,

I know how you look at me. Your expectations have never been colored by movies, by books, by others talking about how parents “should be”, and attributing all sorts of motives to my actions. You look at me like a human being, like your mother, like there is nothing at all standing between you and me.

I try to look at you that way, as well. Like I never read a book, never saw a baby in a movie, never heard another parent talk about babies “manipulating” their parents with tears. Like no one has ever told me that a baby who is crying is “angry for not getting their way”, like no one has ever told me that babies are selfish.

Not only that, but I try to look deep inside my heart and my soul and all of my memories and I try to ask myself “Who told me that? Where would such a thought come from? Why would I think these terrible things about you, daughter? Why would I let others come between you and I with those ugly thoughts about what you think or feel? I won’t. I love you dearly and I want to listen to you. Just you and only you.”

This upset I sometimes feel when you cannot sleep or when you need me to hold you instead of getting things done.. It does not come from your actions, which I should understand in the context of your infancy. This upset comes from the things that people have told me about what babies are and what they should be. It comes from the cultural expectation that I must train you to be good. I reject that feeling. It is a feeling that others have given me, not the feeling that you give me, dear one.

Many people tell you many things throughout your life. They try to paint your perceptions and drive distance between you and those that you should be closest to.

One day your friends are going to tell you that your parents are unfair, that we won’t listen to you, that we just don’t want you to have any fun.

I let no one get between us now, Anne-Marie. And when you come to me as a teenager I will let no one get between us then. I will not listen to you with the thoughts that we are told we must have about teenagers. I will not put you in a box of how you are supposed to be. I will talk to you like a human being, because I will recognize that you are one. I will not put down my foot and risk stepping on you.

You showed me as a baby how life can be when I don’t let the patterns of others shape our relationship. When you struggle one day on your path to becoming an adult, I hope that we can sit together as we sit now as you are seven months old. Nothing between us but love. I hope that I can listen to you as much as I hope that you can listen to me.

<3 Mama


One thought on “Nothing Between Us

  1. Oh yes. It is always the expectations that others place on my child that stress me out the most. Why do we let ourselves be bothered by what others say so much? So many people ask me ‘is he a good baby?’ Is there any other kind of baby???

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