Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I remember the intense fear I felt the first time I saw my mother cry. I'm sure it wasn't the first time she had ever shed tears in front of us, it was just that I was old enough to really understand what that meant. The helplessness that ran through me, seeing the one person I thought was afraid of nothing, standing there looking so weak and defeated.

I don't see my mother anymore, it's been almost two years. Aside from one short sliver of time I had to see her. My aunt had just passed away, and my older sister was left to take care of everything else. It was guilt that made me go. I knew I would have to face my mother, looking haggard, tiny and old. It was that moment that made me think of the first time I remember seeing her cry.

This time, seeing her afraid and weakened it made me understand how human we are as moms and women. How must it have made her feel crying before us as small children. We are given the impossible task of trying to be the bravest, the strongest, in our children's eyes. We want nothing more, than for them to feel protected and safe through us. It is bloody terrifying to think that we are asked, expected to, by others and ourselves, to be brave and strong at all cost.

Now, I remember the first time my children saw me cry. The look of sadness and fear in their eyes, still makes my throat thick. I didn't want to make them feel helpless or sad, but they did. It wasn't my intention to let them see my weakness and fear, but they did.

I don't think I ever asked them how it made them feel. Maybe I'm just projecting what I felt as a child onto them, I don't know. I know my mother never asked. It's hard, but I don't think I want to know.

The one thing I do know is that I am sometimes weak, scared and sometimes I even feel defeated. In all of this I am slowly starting to accept that they can see this, they need to see it. My rawness, the reality of who I am. I am flawed, I am human and I make mistakes, it is scary, but it is the truth.

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