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April 30, 2019

A Open Letter to my Son on Mother’s Day—Signed, his Single Mom.

Dear son,

I am writing this to you as Mother’s Day approaches—also the year when you will be 11 years old.

You’re old enough to read and begin to comprehend certain things.

Let me begin by saying that there are so many days that leave me thinking that I’ve failed. I know you may wonder why I think that, but I just do. Looking at you is my greatest pleasure and also reminds me how strong I am. Because no matter how much our life looks like it’s all sorted right now, back then, when I moved out with you, it wasn’t nearly like this.

Being a good mother to you while my heart was broken was probably the bravest thing that I have ever done.

So, I want you to know that there are times when I still struggle with those emotions. Sometimes, those thoughts are overbearing. And there are times when I stay awake in those wee hours of the night looking at you from a distance, thinking of the ifs and maybes.

You may not notice this at all because I have this superwoman mom syndrome that lets me smile outside while I am breaking inside. And every time you would give me a shout, my hoarse voice would replies back saying, “Yes baby, I am coming.”

Except sometimes, when you read me and ask me if I am okay and then do your little creative things to brighten me up—I want to thank you for those. They really do help. And my heart swells with pride to see you making them.

I know we both have each other’s interest in our minds. I know you have seen me breaking and pushing hard day after day, morning and nights, fighting over calls, leaving for long walks, taking long showers while you stay at the door and keep talking to me and me replying with monosyllables, fearing that you may know I am crying—maybe there are some memories you don’t even share with me, but I know that you know.

I know I can’t hide from you. At least not my insides. I know you often hear it from me—that I will listen to you in a bit because clearly, I am engrossed…engrossed in making a living, giving you a good life, and also pursuing my dreams alongside it all.

I have often told you that it’s me who needs to do everything. But I am tired of handling all this alone and on those bad days I behave reserved and I know it might hurt you sometimes, but I want to tell you that I don’t mean to be. I also know you never wanted our story, our family to be like this, and I am deeply sorry for that.

But there is one thing that is the utmost truth: I love you and you are special.

You are worth each pain, each tear, each effort, each muscle, and each drop of blood in my body. You are not just my son—you are my confidant, my best friend, my partner, and most of all, my anchor. My life is on track because of you. It’s only in your love that I have forgotten to live those pains and look at you growing up ever so fondly. I always say that you are my heart walking outside my body, and it’s true.

Even when I am away from you, I am with you. I love the look in your eye when you tell me, “I am proud of you mama.” I love the sensitivity you possess, the empathy you share with others, and the softness when you can understand someone’s discomfort and pain. And I am so proud of that.

I can’t promise you everything, I can’t fulfil all your wishes and not get you everything you want. But there is one promise that I made to you when you were born—I will never break your trust. And that still stands and will stand tall forever.

You come before everything in this world.

I know I am not perfect—not even close—but I see you look at me like I am. And that gives me the courage to keep moving forward.

So, I want you to know that you have a one rad mom who is willing to pitch for both roles and is sure to pull it off beautifully. You have a mom who will always trust you and will put you ahead in every decision she makes. And I want you to know that we will create every day together, heal together from what happened, and make it upward from here.

And if you see me avoiding eye contact with you ever, please know that I am gathering courage and will be all ears soon.

Love,
Your mom, who is also your dad, by choice.

Vani Kabir

author: Vani Kabir

Image: Author's own

Editor: Naomi Boshari

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