Her

I’ve known her for a long time

No matter how much I try 

I don’t like her

When I see her walk in a room

I cringe; I frown

“Did you really wear that today?”

“Look at your hair.”

Everybody seems to like her

She smiles with her eyes

She lives a carefree life

I’m jealous

Her life reminds me of my pain

Her dreams are ones I never dared dream

Her friendships are deeper

The way she loves is meaningful

I’m worthless

I never had the opportunities

I was afraid to believe

I picked my path

When I see her I don’t see me

I wanted to be a wife

I would like to live her life

I’m hurting

I refuse to hug her

Not one word of praise

If I loved her she might think she’s better than me

I’m withdrawn

Everything I’m not is in her

Places I would like to go she’s been

I will not acknowledge her accomplishments 

I will point out her flaws

If I can make her doubt 

I’ll feel better

“Your children are high maintenance”

“How dare you breastfeed your child in my presence?”

I will neglect her

I will not protect her

I’m helpless

I didn’t have a protector

Nobody loved me

I refuse to love her

I’m lost

“You act like your father and he was nothing.”

When I see her

When I hear her

When I think of her

I’m left wanting

She calls me a name 

The one that cuts me deep

It’s a constant reminder

I glare at her as she begins to speak

“Mom…”

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13

That’s the number of years it’s been since I first laid eyes on her. My daughter, my honeygirl, my image, my hope realized. I love her with all of me. I love all of my children but my relationship with her is different. She is my only daughter and we “get” each other. We talk with our eyes, slight head movements, half smiles and certain looks. We speak the same none language. We are not best friends. I’m her mom, her guidance, her boundaries, her gauge, her disciplinarian and her sounding board. I’m honored that she wants me in her life. She insists that I become friends with the moms of her friends. I’ve heard her tell friends she has the best or coolest mom ever. 

I didn’t have a great relationship with my mom growing up. I would never have referred to her as the best mom ever. I was never sure I could get this mother daughter thing right. Right for me was better than what I grew up with. But I’m getting it right. We are getting it right. I cherish every moment I get to spend being her mom. 

Happy Birthday Honeygirl!

Ode to My Honeygirl

Tomorrow she turns 12. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the teenager and I were at reading time when I went into labor. I waited until it was over, got him buckled in the van, gave him some graham crackers and a drink then I called my doctor. Thirteen hours of labor later, she was born. It was around 1am.

I was tired and hungry, how did they expect a pregnant woman to survive so many hours on ice chips? I looked over at her held her for a moment to count all of her fingers and toes (why do we do that?) and give her a quick snuggle then handed her to her dad then asked the nurse to please give me something to eat. It’s the middle of the night in the hospital and the cafeteria was closed so I had to settle for graham crackers, peanut butter and grape juice but I digress.

She had to go to the NICU because she swallowed meconium during her slow trip down the canal. A short time later, I walked down to see her and hold her. I looked in her eyes and realized the five and a half months of being sick, laying on my couch in the dark and not being able to eat anything other than mashed potatoes with gravy and a biscuit were not worth the trauma (just kidding…maybe).

She has grown into a vivacious, quick-witted, artsy, loving, don’t get in my space unless invited, long story telling (detailed oriented?) intelligent, perceptive young lady. I constantly remind her that she is, by far, my favorite daughter. She’s everything I could ask for in a daughter plus a couple of other things that I never would have asked for but apparently need in order to balance our lives. She walks slow, taking in her surroundings, picking up flower and admiring rocks. She has always had a thing for rocks. Her eyes would light up and she would get excited and almost giddy if the rock was shiny. She has an extensive collection of rocks. She will pull one out periodically to admire its shape, color and luster.

When she was a baby, I would sing these words to her, “You are so beautiful to me. You’re everything I hoped for; you’re everything I need. You are so beautiful to (mommy)…” – Ray Charles

I am glad to have been chosen to be her mom.

Happy Birthday to you my dear sweet Honeygirl. I love you!