This last two months, with me and Jenna left to our own devices, hasn't been easy. And then, it has been the easiest time I've known in a long time. Because I'm changing. I'm getting to know my daughter. For the first time. There is a lot to write on this, on my inability, until stepping outside of all of my internally constructed walls and relationships, to see her. Really to see her, and to, more than that, let her see me. To play. She has been determined to get me to: to teach me to see her, to get down on the floor with her, to play. To let her in.
So afraid to let her in. I have been so afraid to see her, in seeing her expecting that she would vanish before my eyes, my eyes: see with them, die in them. That's all I have known.
And if you don't die with me, then maybe there is living. Teach me that there is living, a reason, unexpected dips and climbs in season, and that maybe it's enough.
Last night we built a train track on the floor. I was feeling so sick, so exhausted, but I did it. She put her "Cheer Bear" Care Bear under my head: "This'll cheer you up, Mama." I said, "Sweetie, I'm not sad, just so tired." And I watched her, and before long she handed me her recorder to blow through, and soon I was making chuga-chuga CHOO CHOO noises with the recorder as she pulled the train around the track.
And I let myself see her. The pain in seeing her, vulnerable, me vulnerable, how can you stand to love someone so much, and see in her the you, the world, and still dare to touch her vulnerability, to let it touch you, to touch her thigh, her soft skin, wonder at her pores, her sweet brown hairs, as I did last night, and know that it could all be gone, in a flash, and in going, how it would kill your soul, would take you too.
And in loving someone so vulnerable, a child, in knowing she will go one day away from me--has to--in loving like that, with the desparate sorrow I wear around my heart, the loss that was my first life lesson, there is finally, finally, FINALLY, a sweet rejoicing.
I feel with a bone-deep jab of heartache, something else: joy.
I love you my sweet Jenna.
May 26, 2003
Posted by Jeneane Sessum at 12:02 PM