To Mothers of Daughters

Mothers of daughters: this is a must-read and captures the depth of the joys and sorrows of mothering our gorgeous girls. Grab the tissues!

“She will do amazing things while you are worrying away the time. She will grow milk teeth and then grown-up ones. She will love the things that you hate and hate the things that you love, and you will drive each other mad–all before she learns to drive.

You will do amazing things, too. You will learn to need less: less sleep, less care, less time. You will give more. You will not say things that you would almost always have said, just to keep the peace. What hard strength there is, in the measurement of unsaid words. You will be in a hurry, to get to the better times, when the times are worn and exhausting. Then you will hold your breath and wish it would all just stop spinning, when you realize how quickly 5 years old became 10 and then 10 years old became 15.

You will cut your own teeth, sharply, on the mothering of this first child. You will do the worst job, this first time. But it will be the purest experience, the one that lives forever in your gut. The one that makes you homesick, always, for the time when she did not know anything but you and it was all so very new and unfiltered.

It will be wonderful and terrible, heartbreaking and tumultuous. You will hate it sometimes and you will love it. You will stand nearby and watch her figure out the balance of things, with the eye of someone so simultaneously invested and so incredibly powerless. It will hurt you more than she can know.

Do not tell her how much it hurts.

One day you will be counting her fingers and her toes, and the next you will see her looking off into some foggy distance and she will be smiling.

And that will be the first time that you realize that she is counting the days until she leaves you, for her first adventure, all alone.”

-Nicole Jankoski, The First Last Time

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