I sat by your bed tonight as you cried. Red, hot tears of disappointment. Of embarrassment. Of fear. Of feeling less than.
And I understood.
I understood because I have been there. I have been disappointed. I have been embarrassed. I have been afraid. I have felt less than. More times than you’ll ever know.
I wish I could wash it all away for you. I wish I could feel these feelings for you. I wish I could swaddle you up like I did when you were a baby and make it all better. Just. Like. That.
But I can’t.
Because you’re big now. You’re so, so big. Things are so much more complicated. Life is so much more difficult. And you are discovering that for yourself. And it hurts.
So no, I can’t make it all better like I could when you were one. Or two. I can’t kiss your boo boo and make it go away. All I can do is listen. And hold you. And tell you I get it. All I can do is share what wisdom I have collected in my decades on this earth, and hope that it helps.
The hardest thing I have learned as a mother is that you are not me. And I am not you. I have to let you feel your own pain as much as it kills me. Because it’s your pain.
But I want you to know that I will always be here. I will always listen. I will always hold you. I will never judge. You can tell me anything. You can share your deepest hurt. You gravest fear. Your most mortifying disappointment, and I will love you. I will help you however I can. I will take your pain in my hands and try to make sense of it with you. Because you, my love, are my heart. And when you ache, I ache.