I remember when I was younger, I used to love this book series called the Berenstain Bears. I remember going to the bookstore and picking out their latest books, and sometimes going to the library. I don’t remember my parents ever reading to me. I don’t know how I learned to love to read.
I loved you before you were real, before seeing that second blue line. I loved you because you were real to me; inevitable; waiting.
I already had books for you–lots of Dr Seuss like the ones I used to read to your Uncle Jackson*. I saw that story online about the father who kept a copy of “The Places You Will Go” and had all his daughters’ teachers sign it for her, and of course I wanted to do that too. I was so determined to give you everything. There was never a time I wasn’t thinking about building the perfect life for you.
I remember the first time I told your story. I cried so hard I could hardly get out the words. The group facilitator held me in her arms and I remember thinking, “This is what a mother is supposed to be.” It was what I wanted to be for you.
I came to the mountains to find some peace, and I’ve been reminded so forcefully of that Berenstain Bears book where their vacation goes so very wrong. In my “regular life”, I have flat tires and identity theft and cracked teeth; on this trip, I have frozen pipes and broken power and no heat; and the management is so nice and so apologetic and so concerned, and I just want to tell them that I’m sorry for bringing my rain cloud on this trip with me, because surely these problems are just following me.
I read these stupid memes and I want to say, “well of course my attitude must be influencing me,” but I know that can’t be true. Because there was never a moment when I didn’t feel full of love and want and excitement for you. Because if a positive attitude could have saved you, it wasn’t possible to have been more positive than me.
Today, I am broken and tired, and these things happen but barely register with me. These things happen and they fill up my time, and I find myself distracted from thinking about you. And sometimes I hate that life just keeps spinning.
But sometimes I’m comforted.
I came to the mountains to find peace. Peace feels messy, a lot like me.
I love you.
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.