Guilt and regret are the ugly Hyde to the Jekyll of sobriety, even years in. With new awareness, we relive past experiences---or in many cases bemoan what might have been. Pain and sorrow previously numbed by a drug or drink of choice is glaringly present, and strikes unpredictably---in the midst of a family gathering; alone, late at night; smack in the middle of an important work presentation, or during a particularly deep yoga class.
Growing up in Toronto, there were many things to do as a family but one of my ultimate favourite places to go to was Centre Island, or more specifically Centreville. I remember loving the ferry ride to get to the island and then spending the day on all the fun rides. Those are the moments that I remember and cherish to this day.
Everyone struggles. Some struggle more than others, but that doesn't mean we can't support other parents. If someone tells you about their problem, no matter how silly or trivial you think it is compared to your own, or what other people deal with, support them. Lift them up. Say you understand how hard it must be for them, and acknowledge their feelings.
You're processing the world around you, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. And as your mom, I'm doing my best to show you (and remind myself each day) how to bring light into this world each of those days. In the grocery store, at the park, in the classroom. We're in this together. We'll learn together. We'll fall together. We'll get up together.
I was trying to recall a day when I was a fantastic mom all day, where I managed to stay patient, positive and in the zone. More often than not, I flop back and forth between extremes like a fish out of water, I'm a fantastic mom, wait, nope I'm a shitty mom. It's incredible how quickly I can go from nailing it to absolutely shitting the bed.
Because my baby girl, you come from a proud line of loving, nurturing, loud laughing, often giggling, deeply feeling and wonderful women with curves who have been wounded by other people's aesthetic expectations and cheated by their own understanding of perfection. I want you to see me love myself for all the gorgeous, nurturing mamas that came before me.
During my pregnancy and right after birth there were a lot of "warnings" about the havoc my little monster would create. How I wouldn't be able to function without sleep. How I would have to recalibrate. How I'd need to discipline. Heaps upon loads of advice on how to keep the baby from inconveniencing my routine, at any cost.
One day I will turn around and you won't be sitting in the car seat behind me; you will be the one driving. That day is still far away, but this new path you are on is another step in that direction. Part of me wants to keep you close forever. I know this can't happen, but I feel the urge all the same.