When my daughter was born six years ago, I sat down and wrote her a letter. A love letter in fact. I talked about how she taught me to love deeply, and unconditionally, and how she was the most precious and amazing gift I could ever ask for.
It’s an amazing feeling when you first become a mother: something about the smell of the new baby, the way they look and feel so perfect sleeping on your shoulder, your out-of-control hormones and the lack of sleep – all these things make you feel like you’re floating (sleep-walking) in some sort of an alternate universe.
The sad thing is that alternate universe soon becomes a reality, and six years and another baby later I am ready to write a different sort of letter:
Your father and I feel very fortunate you came into our lives. Your smiles and laughter brighten our days and our love for you is so deep and true that it hurts sometimes.
You know what else hurts? When you pull my hair when I’m holding you. And when you bite my lips when I ask for a kiss and refuse to let go, when you kick me, or when you throw things directly (and at times deliberately) at my head.
So I am writing this letter as a way to say that you need to give me some space. This has nothing to do with my love for you. Believe me: it’s not me, my dear children, it’s you…
I love you very much and I’m sure you love me too. But perhaps we should start doing some things separately.
Like going to the bathroom. I really don’t need hugs and kisses when I’m in there, and I’ve got the wiping thing down, so no help needed in that area either. Also, I can sort out my own reading material thankyouverymuch – which is not to say that I don’t appreciate flipping through “highlights” magazine or looking for Waldo.
Another thing we can do separately? Sleep. I love your soft cheeks and light snoring in the night.
But dude you kick me! Like all the time! In my side, my stomach and even my face. Also, you sometimes sleep on me. Not by me, or next to me, but actually on me. So when I wake up tired in the morning it is not because stress kept me up all night, worrying about the state of the world, or work, and stuff. No! It was you who kept me up all night. With your kicking and punching and let’s face it, sometimes not so soft snoring.
Traveling with you isn’t so great either. Nor is going to restaurants or shopping. When your father and I seem agitated on the plane or overly apologetic to our servers at restaurants it’s not because of something we did. No, my dear children, it’s you. Nine times out of 10, it’s you!
In closing I would like to reiterate our love for you and commitment to our relationship. We are not looking to make major changes, just need a bit of space.
The important thing to remember is this: It’s not me… it’s you.