I see you, Mama.
I see how hard you work—night shift, day shift, overtime, weekends. I see you rush from home to soccer practices, from meetings with bosses to meetings with teachers, from rush hour traffic to dentist appointments. Late. And hoping you don’t get charged.
I see you come into the school, selling t-shirts for this, collecting fundraising money for that, all the while keeping your eyes open to catch a glimpse of your babes to see they’re okay, so that your heart can relax.
I see you praying your ex will leave you alone and wishing your husband still looked at you like you were 25. I see you wiping the counters down after dinner, packing lunches, checking homework, all the while preoccupied with the wish that you were someplace else—the beach, a bar, his arms.
I see you crying in the quiet corners of your life: closets, bathrooms, carpools with sunglasses on and the radio turned up. You cry because you’re overwhelmed, because life punched you in the gut today, this week, this year. You cry because you don’t have the answers and everything about whatever it is seems so hard. You cry because your roots are four inches grown out and your favorite t-shirt has a hole and that one pair of pants was too tight this morning…but the donuts were so easy to reach for this weekend. And last. And all of June. And you’re not 25 anymore.
I see you doing your best. I see that your best is enough. Always.
I see the way your eyes twinkle when a genuine laugh appears from your toes and the sound moves everyone else to laugh with you. I see the way your kids’ eyes light up when you come in a room, and I hear the way they call your name—Mom—and feel the word embody everything there is to know about love.
I see you wipe your tears and sing along to Maroon 5 and Elmo and Demi Lovato and songs in genres in between, lyrics taking up brain space that could potentially explain why you are so scattered. I see that little hip shake you do when you are packing those lunches, spreading peanut butter to your own beat.
That beat is your heart and I hear it, feel it, pounding and coursing and moving you through this life as my own moves me through mine and that is only the beginning of our connection because me and you and her next to you?
We are the same.
Do you see you? I see you, Mama. And you are beauty. Your work and your tears and your desires and your dreams and your pain and your effort and your love—your love above all else—is beautiful. I see it and I validate it and I accept it as truth and so should you.
I see you, Mama.
Author: Ellen Allen
Editor: Catherine Monkman