To my mum who dabbed foundation on my chin when I scratched it on the morning of the family photo.
To my mum who gave me a love of purple and the pointer sisters.
To my mum who would sashay into my room in the mornings and fling open my curtains and sing “hey good morning, oh good morning, what a lovely day!”
To my mum who told me to ignore the boy, who, at 13, told me I should get a boob job. Not “good things come in small packages”, or “some men prefer small boobs”. Not anything that made me feel like I was better or worse because I was a small girl. Not anything that made me feel like my sense of self worth should come from how another person views my body. Simply, “ignore him, you are perfect how you are.” I wonder if she knows how valuable that was.
To my mum who would make me a bed on the couch when I was sick so I didn’t have to be in my room alone.
To my mum who told me to jump from the top of the waterfall, even though I was scared, even though I though I thought I couldn’t do it.
To my mum who can swim and swim and swim.
To my mum who gave me a love of the sea and words.
To my mum who taught me how to “remove” spiders before I left home because I wouldn’t have my dad to do it for my anymore.
To my mum who used to wear my home made willow tree jewellery and buy my home made potpourri even though it gave my dad hay fever.
To my mum who was 10 years younger than I am now when she first held me, her little girl, in her arms. Who has celebrated her past 35 birthdays as a mother.
To my mum, who probably didn’t know that she would still be worrying about her children.
To my mum who gave me the world. Who told me to study and travel and be my own self before I became someone else’s anything. To my mum who might regret some of those words now.
To my mum whose eyes got a little brighter and whose smile was full of a little more laughter whenever her sister visited.
To my mum who used to dance around the campfire with her friends, arms linked through each other and legs kicking out and singing “I am, what I am” as I, pretending to be asleep, watched and remembered.
To my mum who still dances around the campfire with her friends.
To my mum who has the softest hands in the world, and the softest hair.
Toy mum whose face I see every single time I look in the mirror.
People keep telling me that I’ll never know true love until I’m a mother…
But I think I know.
Author: Cath Witten
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: klausbalzano at Flickr