An Overdue Love Letter

Dear Flora and Kate,

I just wanted to take this opportunity, on the day before Mother’s Day, to thank you.

I have been your mom for more than five and three years respectively, and I know that I don’t make it look easy.

There is a lot that is hard about being a mother. There is a lot right now that makes my mothering a little challenging. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

But there is even more that makes all the hard stuff — the sleeplessness, the potty-training, the battle of wills — all worth it, every single second, every single “no” that comes out of your little mouths, every single knee in my back at 3 a.m. That “more” pretty much boils down to love, nay — LOVE. The huge amount that you clearly have for me, and the infinite amount that I have discovered I have for you, both of you (and your little brother or sister on the way). I never knew that love was infinite. Thanks for teaching me that.

The best part of being your mom is watching you girls grow. I am fascinated by the little people you are becoming. I am fascinated that your daddy and I made you, somehow, especially every time I see your little bodies walking away from me, on their way to their own adventure. Or even to just eat some cereal in the morning.

Flora, you ask questions about every thing (which sometimes gets us in trouble). You are an independent agent, often getting your own snacks and drinks, dressing yourself, brushing your own hair and teeth, and otherwise telling me, confidently, “I can do it.” (Could you learn to wash your own hair, soon? Because my back is already killing me.)

Kate, you are my pistol, my feisty girl, my always-in-motion child. If you’re not moving, you’re not happy. which sometimes gets us in trouble. You want to do everything your big sister does, except when you emphatically don’t. You are less about asking questions (at least to this point) than you are about poking stuff.

You both have taught me more about myself than I realized there was to know! I’m actually more patient than I suspected (although mileage may vary). I like talking to you guys — or, more to the point — listening. You’ve reintroduced wonder into my life (although it’s sometimes the simple wonder that I can be so very exhausted at the end of the day. Although maybe that’s Bud’s fault). I like rediscovering the simplicity of being a vegetarian, or being a Catholic, or, you know, digging in the dirt (worms!).

And I love being loved and being needed by you. Kate, even though your middle-of-the-night trips to my bed are sometimes because you’ve wet yourself, cuddling up with you after we get you changed is… renewing somehow. Flora, you keep me thinking, and I’m so glad I’m here to answer (or Google) your questions!

Thanks. Keep up the good work. I’m pretty sure you’re not the only two who are growing in this relationship.