I haven’t considered buying her a material gift, first off because she’s too young to appreciate anything that isn’t edible—and second, because she’ll be getting a whole lot of presents from relatives at the big party in a few hours (she shares the same birth date as her German grandfather).
But I have decided to do one thing, starting now: I’ve begun a journal, just for her.
My thoughts, notes and musings to her. I want to record these memories, our times together, what she knew, what she loved, what she did, what she said (and how she said it), what she attempted, and what she accomplished…how she cried, how she touched my heart, how she frustrated me, and angered me, and loved me
…and how enormously I loved her.
As I began to write in this journal, I realized it was also what I wanted as a child. I wanted to know my mother’s reflections…I never knew of her hopes or dreams—whether for myself or for her—and some of the early years of my life are lost with no record of those times (my mom and dad split up when I was five).
But it’s okay.
I have made my way through life with experience for a teacher, and I know now that my parents both love me unconditionally. Still, sometimes, I wish there were more of my mom (in those faraway moments of 1981) to remember.
So, I am gifting my daughter something I never had—insight to her mother’s feelings, dreams, and desires.
…unspoken thoughts, meant only for her.
Whether she is 13 or 31, or 50 or past then, she will know that her imperfect mom still found a way to pursue a perfect love—the one she found with her.
And perhaps she will realize then, the incredible gift of life to my soul that she, my Alexandra, gave me.