you and me

A Mother’s Heart. {poetry}

A mother’s heart is a bottomless pit. It is an unconditional pocket of love, and a bruised, relentlessly pounded punching bag.

When we raise our daughters, so much of ourselves — the good, the bad, the awesome, and the ugly — pours out and into them in both subtle and obvious ways.

Whether we like it or not, or they like it or not, all of our fears, hopes, misgivings, habits, wants, biases, feelings, anger, resentments, goodness, and love is simply passed down. The mother-daughter connection can truly be a tenuous and tricky ordeal.

Daughters learning to find their own voice will rail against the unappealing attributes of their mothers, but try as they may, they can’t help but absorb it all. It is indeed poured into them from the start.

The mother-daughter connection is all at once lovely, messy, alive, volatile, and real. As daughters, it is not until we are older that we realize how precious, wonderful, vulnerable, and human our own mothers are and always were.

If we are mothers of daughters ourselves, it is not until we see clearly what is behind us that we can assess and apologize for the damages we consciously and unconsciously inflicted upon them during their formative years. Baggage is passed down in ways seen and unseen.

It is good to remember that most of our mothers, trusted with the upbringing of little girl babies, were desperately struggling to claw their way to the surface of their own lives.

We often forget, when harboring the guilt that comes with motherhood, that we too were called to deftly navigate the stormy waters of daughter-rearing without instruction, all the while pursuing our own agendas and identities. 

It is my hope that my daughter and I will continue to live in the present and choose love over resentment. This poem, Mother’s Heart, was written for my daughter, whom I love with every drop of my being.

*****

Mother’s Heart

*****

It’s true, I do,

I stand guard, I always will,

I always will, over you,

because you,

you grew inside me

And now I’m inside you too

whether you want me

there or not

I was enchanted by

your little fingers,

your little toes,

and the fact that

you had my mother’s nose

so tiny, a girl

making little sounds, a little girl

another healthy child

made me a young mother,

a naive mother of two

you with your happy face

and your happy heart

you who showed me your assertions

right from the start

as I fed you from my breast

I did that too

It was me, always me

pouring myself into you

so yes

yes I stand guard

and always will

and

I know the mistakes I made

all the charges I accrued

but I watched you triumph anyway

as I decanted

into you,

a burdensome kind of love

a yearning imbue

passed down, passed through,

my own issues, my weakness

it’s who I was, not you

you have to understand

that it was impossible not to

it’s the way of things

but I’m sorry

I’m sorry too

that you now carry these mistakes

my defeat

on your back

I’m sorry

is all I can say…

because in those moments I lacked

all that I know now

And all that I see now

how a mother’s mistakes cling

and how my fears made them sting

and if I can step back now

just step back

know you will make your way,

because you know how

you always have

so shrug me off

shed me

don’t let me

blanket you

let your truth, your divinity be told

let your honest soul and your beauty unfold

be as brave and as bold

as you were the day you were born

before I poured myself into you

(some of it good)

But shed me, please

and I will make do, I promise,

I will do that for you

But I will still stand guard, I will

Because my heart

my lioness heart,

my mother’s heart

guards your heart too

Oh my little girl

because you grew inside me

and now

I am inside you.

***

KimberlyValzania02Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She feels creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinion on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. She believes that life is indeed a journey, and that precious moments appear (like magic) when you surrender, hold hands, and fling yourself into the great, wide, open. You can read more at her website.

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