Today is the day you become aware of my secret identity. This day is years, if not decades, away. And while you will have known the facts for most of your life, you will still be taken by surprise when this day arrives. It’s an especially difficult day for a daughter. The one when she realizes that her mother is just another woman, much like herself.
The first day you see your mother without her “mom cape” is like catching her naked. It’s awkward, uncomfortable and makes her incredibly vulnerable. By the time this day arrives for you my sweet girl, my hair will be faded and your grandfather’s heavy brow will sit upon my black eyes. I will be different from the person who is writing you this letter; time will give me no choice in the matter. Should you ever wonder who this person was, I wanted to leave you something of her. Perhaps it will help you to better understand the person you know when this day arrives.
I am happy.
I was once told as a teenager that it is impossible to be happy every minute of every day, and while this is indeed true, I am still trying to prove it wrong. I struggle to accept that I am deserving of the happiness I have. I fear that it may escape me and I will not know how to find it again. Strange yes, but I am working on simply embracing it.
Your father is why I know so much happiness.
His presence in my life still surprises me. He will teach you, dear daughter, to seek out the beauty of simplicity. If you learn his lesson, your heart and mind will remain open. For much of your life he will tell you that it is I who takes care of him. What you will witness is the many ways he takes care of me. How his small gestures have helped me become a stronger, more confident woman.
Cutting my hair was the single most brilliant style choice I ever made for myself.
At thirty one I struggle with my self-image on a daily basis. My lack of faith in myself has been my greatest weakness. It has kept me from chasing my dreams and giving myself credit when it has been earned. I often stare at the mirror looking for the person I know in my daydreams. I have two major goals to accomplish in raising you. The first is to teach you to walk with your head held high. It is much easier to chase your dreams if you can see where they are going. The second is that you know a beautiful body is a healthy one and that perfection is only possible through imperfection.
I am an emotional wreck about going back to work.
It’s hard, I have loved my job for the last year and believed that I was good at it, but you are a social little creature. You like to see and talk to other people. I am not worried about you but I am worried that I am making a mistake nonetheless. And I will make mistakes as I go along. I will not know they were mistakes until you tell me about them.
I want you to have a sister.
I am biased in this manner because I adore mine. I gave her a hard time when we were little, but your auntie, my little sister, is now someone I look up to and admire. She is the person you ask a question to when you don’t want to ask me, especially if it’s about me. She knows all, mostly because she lived it with me, and she will not sugar coat me. I miss her daily.
Being away from home is hard.
I miss the people, the way of those people, the trees and the quiet of them. It makes me sad to know that my home’s landscape will not shape you they way it did me. New Brunswick is the nation’s wall flower and wall flowers are beautiful. I hope you will love it too and also understand that love kept me from it.
I think you are the most gorgeous creature that ever was.
I will always think this and be proud of it. It is my right. You have surprised me in so many ways already. The biggest being that I got to have a daughter (we were convinced you were a boy). You are a bright and confident little girl. You love to tell stories and make others laugh. I am excited about the years to come and the adventures we will have. I am loving getting to know you as Mum. I look forward to the day I meet you as Vanessa.