Someday - ten, fifteen, twenty years from now - you will look at me, your mother, and actually have an opinion about how I fill that role. Chances are you will find many things I did wrong, things you wish I'd done differently. I'm pretty sure you'll just love your dad without complaint because he's like that. I hope you will find things I did well, too, and ways I was a good mother.
You don't know it yet, but I worry about mothering you. I've worried since the day you were born. Before, actually. While we were in the hospital for the month before you were born, they'd strap monitors around me twice a day, sometimes for up to an hour, so they could chart your heartbeat and movements. One day you must have wrapped your umbilical cord around your foot and pushed on it or something because your heartbeat dropped off the chart. In seconds, four nurses were sprinting into my room, pushing me, checking monitors, and saying, "Roll over! Now! We have to move the baby!!" Your heartbeat came back up, but sometimes when you moved it would drop again. I've seriously never seen nurses move so fast. I wore those monitor straps for twenty-four hours, staring at the screen that showed your heartbeat, holding my breath. Things got untwisted eventually, so we didn't have to deliver you before schedule.
That wasn't the first time I'd had to worry about you, but it was a memorable one. My precious daughter was in distress and there was nothing I could do to help. I know someday I will feel that way again, as I let you make choices, take risks, and sometimes fall or make mistakes. Honestly, that scares me. But most of those days are still far away. For now, I worry whether I'm reading enough books with you or letting you watch too many movies; if I'm helping you learn to express your emotions in a healthy way; if I'm being kind enough while setting enough limits; and how my battle with depression is affecting you.
Those concerns may seem silly to you, but they are real to me. I love you more than I've ever loved anything, and I always will. I want you to experience life with as much joy as possible. Right now, that means letting you climb up onto your headboard and leap with glee onto your bed, giggling, even though my heart skips a beat each time. You have a wild spirit, and I want you to appreciate all your glory.
In the end, no matter what I do or don't do, no matter what rights or wrongs you see in me, there is one thing I hope you learn with absolute certainty: I love you. I love you infinitely - that means no matter what, forever and always. Nothing you do can change that. I feel it would be impossible for me to love you any more, but maybe I'll learn that I can. One thing is sure: I can never, ever love you any less. My biggest worry is that you won't understand that. And my biggest hope is that you will.