I was a bad mother. I didn’t have a clue of what I was doing, except winging it. I was too young, too scared, too screwed up. Now they are all grown up and I want to go back to when they were babies and tell them they didn’t need to grow up so fast.
I loved them fiercely. But I didn’t love myself yet.
I wanted them so much. To be a mother is an honor. I just wish I had been better at showing them who I could be. I want more days like springtime when we walked slowly and talked about everything. And fewer days when we walked quickly, prodded by lack of time and discomfort of uncomfortable shoes and wishing we had a car like the ones that drove by us quickly in the summer heat.
I wanted to teach them everything. But I didn’t know much.
I was over my head, drowning in fear. I wish I had given them extra kisses when they fell down and fewer pleas to grow up and stop crying. We were a team, a family. We all had to be team players and do our part, even when you are only two.
I gave them all that I had. But I didn’t have much.
They are grown-ups now. Men, with jobs and homes of their own. I wish for more snuggles, more books, more birthday breakfasts in bed, more time. I want to go back and play pirates again, dragging sheets and pillows into the middle of the room. Stacking chairs and hiding “below deck” with flashlights. More giggles, more breakfasts of leftover pizza, more fun.
I could have been a better mother. But for no reason at all, they loved me anyways.