To the little girl who calls me Mama:
You know, every year I ask you if you’ll take a couple pictures with me. I say, “Oh please oh please? It’s Mother’s Day!” But can I tell you a secret? Those pictures I take when I’m all dolled up and fancy with you by my side- that’s not how I want you to remember me as your mom.
I want you to remember our in-between days. The days where you think I’m being fussy because I’m making up rules that I want you to follow like “don’t stand on the back of the chair” and “no wiping your boogers on the wall.” Cause when you’re older, you’ll realize that I only wanted to keep you from hurting yourself. And also- come on… We’re not that gross, kid. We’re a little gross, but not that gross.
I want you to remember your mama with her crazy & frizzy hair because I spent more time pampering you than myself, and I want you to remember how I sing on my way to the shower about finally having the chance to get clean. 😉
I want you to remember the silly things I do that make you (and Dada) laugh… like rip off my “bathing suit” under my shirt and throw it across the room with an exasperated “FINALLY!” – because life’s too short to be wearing uncomfortable things with wire in all the wrong places. I also want you to remember how you giggled and danced when I sat down at the piano and started hammering out ragtime songs that made our house sound like we’ve traveled back to an 1890’s saloon.
I want you to remember how I told you “no” over and over when you asked for the “stinking red #40 cookies” at the store- cause you know, health… and diabetes. And mama’s semi-crunchy craziness. I want you to remember that time I made you eat broccoli, and although you spit it in my hand after chewing it up a bit, I still said, “thank you for trying” because really, I know the torture of eating vegetables you hate. #iusetoflushgreenpeasdownthetoilet
I want you to think about all the times I pushed you beyond what YOU thought your limits were because I believed you could do it, and as it turns out, I was right. Again. 😉
I want you to remember my smile when I picked you up from school, or the way I prayed with you on your way to school because God help those teachers some mornings when we Hancher girls stayed up too late and woke up too early.
I want you to remember how I ran and jumped into Dada’s arms and told you to hush a minute while he was talking to me because it was just that important for me to spend time with him, too. For his sake, for my sake, and for our family’s sake.
I want you to look back and know that when I said I needed 20 minutes of “mama time” in another room and put Daniel Tiger on for you to watch while I sat with a book or magazine or just in complete silence, it was because that made me a better, nicer, more patient mom.
I want you to remember our floor picnics and how some days I couldn’t care less if you wanted Goldfish for breakfast and other days I said “absolutely not, that’s not nutritious- not that those are any worse than half the cereal we buy” because I was perfectly imperfect and chose to pick whatever battles I felt like picking that day cause yeah, I’m making up the rules to motherhood as I go. Aren’t we all?
But most of all, I want you to remember that those promises I made to you the night you were born- the ones I said to you alone in a dark hospital room when I held you tight and introduced myself to you as the voice you’ve been hearing sing to you, the hand you’ve been feeling pat your bum, the one who fed you Utz Crab Chips and Cream Soda for 9 months like it was all that was left in the world… those promises that I would do everything I could to be the best mama I could be, that I would do everything in my power to keep you safe and healthy and happy and raise you to be the best version of Nadia Hancher you could be- Those ones?
I’m still keeping them. Even when it’s hard & even when I feel like I’m failing. I always will, kiddo.
Thank you for the honest pictures of how we look every day. And thank you for making me a mama.