You know those dreams you occasionally have where you wake up and you have a hard time believing that it didn't actually happen? That it was all just a dream? Then, all day, you stagger along having these bizarre moments of déjá vu while simultaneously struggling to remember every last detail because you want to live that dream over and over?
Mothering Mo is just like that.
Being Marlo's mother brings with it a bit of delirium. Day-in and day-out, I walk around in a bit of a haze, having a hard time believing that this beautiful creature with the amazing hair and quick wit belongs to me. I have a hard time believing that this is the creature I get to claim as my own, the kid who makes me prouder, yet, simultaneously more frustrated than anyone in the world.
At this particular age, every stage seems far too fleeting, far to difficult to scribe to my memory and it is one of my biggest fears that I won't remember every last minute detail of her.
I want to remember the way her hair falls in her face and how she uses her hand to brush it aside. I want to remember how she emphasizes everything with her hands. I want to remember-- particularly for future teenage purposes-- that there is absolutely no rushing her to do anything she doesn't feel ready to do. I want to remember how she loves to write letters to her family and friends because "you do nice fings for the people you love, mama." I want to remember how genuine she is about everything, including things she isn't a fan of. I want to remember how randomly throughout the day she'll lean into me and tell me that she loves me.
What I've learned from mothering Mo is that children are our biggest advocates, just as we are supposed to be theirs. Nobody makes me feel more beautiful or more capable than Marlo. Motherhood gave me a new perspective on myself, of my capabilities, of my strength, and of my ability to love and be loved.
At the same time, nobody makes my weaknesses more obvious than her. She has become my greatest teacher and the person who holds me most accountable without trying. She is my mirror, the reflection of all of the baggage and insecurities I work hard to not pass onto her. She is the guiding force of our family simply by being Mo.
When I was eight weeks pregnant, I had a dream of an olive-skinned, golden-haired, green-eyed beauty who would rock my world and everything I thought to be true about life. In the dream, her name was Marlo.
I guess in some instances, dreams really do come true.
Happy birthday, Marlo Mclean. I love you so much it hurts.
to the moon but so very much further.