Letter to my beloved child,
I remember when I first conceived of you; the thought, the thrill, the hope of you. I remember the first time I felt you move, deep inside my own life. And, I remember when I first realized that you were no longer just me but of me, with your own cells, breath and will. I was lonely for you and in awe of you as you pushed your way into the world — the world that once was mine, but now was ours.
I blew on you so that you might feel the wind’s push and marvel at the rush of air. I poured water over you and shared your joy as it flowed between your fingers. The majesty of the elements — its power to rage and heal — riveted you. You glowed in the discovery.
As time went on, I presented you to the night’s peace and its creatures, and the animals that command the day. You learned of birds and their flight and hunt, and the bees that you believed growled at you. We planted seeds so you could create life from no life and delight in an unfurling leaf and a bloom’s aching reveal. Together, we cared for pets so you could begin love’s journey.
I gave you brothers and sisters. I wanted you to play and seek peace in another, to see life beyond yourself and to cherish and protect it as your own. My heart swelled as witness to your reaching and pulling close and coming together.
You became strong, and you lengthened. Each moment was precious, and you grew toward me as a flower to the sun. You ran to me, certain of your home. When you cried, I held you; and when you slept, I cradled you. You were so beautiful that I could not take my eyes off you, even for a moment.
The day arrived when you decided that you needed more than I could give — more than the sea, sky and sun.
I asked, “Is there more than colors and stars?” You claimed that those were nothing compared to what was out in the world.
I said, “I will come with you,” and you said that you did not need me and did not want me. I begged you to take three things with you, just these three things for a shield — faith, hope and love.
You laughed at my innocence, and you left without them. I missed you so very much.
You got scared and hurt, and you cried out for me. I came, and you exclaimed, “How could you have abandoned me?”
I embraced you and replied, “You will get hurt if you do these things.”
You pushed me away and told me that I just wanted control, and you hid from me. I wept.
You were jealous and fought with your brothers and sisters, and you declared that I had given them more than I had given you. You called them wicked and pleaded for their punishment so that you could know my favor.
I whispered that I had enough love for everyone, and you called me a fake and a fraud. You said your life was worth more than my love. You sent me away, and you were lost from me. And so, I climbed a cross to show you love. I climbed a cross to save you.
Mary White is from the Malone area. She and her husband have five children, eight cats, two dogs and three guinea pigs. She has had the privilege of working with children and families (her own and other people’s) for more than 20 years. For more of her columns, visit http://marywhitelovestories.com.