Dear Petunia and Dash,
Someday you will learn how babies are made, and it will not match with my theory, which is that life-creation involves the removal of a piece of a mother's heart, the attachment of arms and legs to it, the performance of some real abracadabra-type magic, and then the turning lose of one's offspring to roam about the world. Tah-dah! And at the center of it all is still your mama's heart, pulsing blood through your own veins. The very primal bond between mother and child is one that nothing can break -- nothing, as in no matter what tantrum you throw, Dash, over your ice cream cone falling on the floor, or your tween mumblings, Petunia, over how late friends can stay up when I still make you go to bed far too early. All of the eye-rolling and foot-stomping in the world cannot change that my heart beats in your bodies and will long after I am gone.
Fortunately, we have so very little of those tough moments. I have been blessed with two children who, by the grace of God, actually get along with each other and with me. Your relationship with each other, especially, is something that my own friends comment on regularly. I feel a bit sad when folks act like it is a surprise for siblings to love each other above all else. I think it happened because I expected you to love each other -- nothing more, nothing less. And since you both share pieces of that same heart, how could you not? It beats in rhythm. You will always have each other.
Last week, a friend asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day, and I realized that I had no clue -- no wish list, no plans, no idea. Perhaps it is because of this grueling move, but I really did not want to plan an adventure of the usual magnitude. I thought of how important natural beauty has been to me this past year, so we will spend my day surrounded by it oceanside. I am sure it will be a lovely day.
But what I really want from you this year has nothing to do with location, or what we eat, or gifts, or how late I get to sleep in tomorrow (which, judging by Dash's presence in my bed, might not be late at all). What I want is for you to know, deep in your hearts, that you are surrounded by love -- that you came from a place of great love and desire for you to exist and that no matter how that place has changed, the love that everyone from that place has for you has not changed at all. And when you look at each other tomorrow and the next day and the next year, and then the time years from now when you are aunt and uncle to each other's kids, I want you to see a connection that time nor space nor family changes can break -- a connection that is so much bigger than your individual selves. Always, always, always see each other as blessings, confidantes, and pieces of a much bigger whole. Know that bedrock of family is always there in the hearts of all of its members and especially in the bond between you siblings that no shape-shifting ever will force apart. You are part of each other, connected heart to heart. Love each other fiercely and forever. That love will never let you down.
I am far from a perfect mother, but, when I look at the two of you, I get a bit self-congratulatory. Hooray! I did something exactly right. Twice. And then I see you look at each other, and I know exactly what love is, and so do you. Take good care of that heart that I gave you and use it as well as you can not only for each other but to love our magnificent world and all of its people with all of their flaws in spite of it all.
That is your mama's heart right there: believing so hard that the world is a good place full of good people that I was willing to turn you loose in it. Use those hearts now to perpetuate the belief in the goodness and worth in all of us, having each other's back all along the way. That is the mother's day gift I seek this year.
Mama xo xo