A Mother’s Day Letter

20130310-014612 AM.jpg

I should start by wishing you a happy Mother’s Day, but I suppose that’s unnecessary as you won’t be receiving this anyway. And anyway, although those are the words you expect, those are not the words you want to hear.

It took me a long time to figure out what you wanted me to say. I used to think it was ‘Sorry,’ ever since you told me that when you were pregnant with me, you hadn’t wanted a girl. That your mother had told you girl children were more trouble than they were worth by virtue of being female (this taught me so much about the dysfunction of my extended family, by the way). Not that I’ve turned out as traditionally feminine as either you or my father expected. But it’s not that. It’s not as simple as you having misgivings at the birth of your first daughter, because after the next three followed I think we can both agree there’s nothing wrong with girls. (Except the hour it takes your fifteen year old one to leave the bathroom.)

The second thing I thought you wanted me to say, was about my sexuality. Yes, I’m gay. And for when I eventually tell you, on one eventual date, I will be sorry for hurting you. Part of me is sorry now. It kills me not to say, even when you occasionally raise your eyebrows at my choice of books, when you tease me about marriage or when you flat-out ask. It really does. But that’s not what you want me to say, perhaps because you know by the so-called mother’s intuition that it’s not the time yet.

But I know what you want me to say. And I don’t hate you.

Such an arbitrary, odd thing to say. Especially on Mother’s Day.

But that’s what you’re looking for. Something I’ve realised, talking to my father, is that all parents have this natural fear of their children growing to loathe them. It’s one of the most painful types of rejection possible. And I know you worry. Because I’m not six anymore, I’m sixteen and we don’t talk like we used to. Sometimes we don’t talk at all. Our conversations sometimes become quickly argumentative, because we’re just such different people. We have different values, different friends. Different ideas. Different directions. There are things we don’t like about each other; familiarity truly does breed contempt. But. I don’t hate you. I never did. Sure, it’s cool to be distant and standoffish with your parents nowadays, sure I should get in touch with my Dad more. But I don’t hate you, and I never did. And it isn’t just because you’re my mother and I’m your first daughter.

You gave me my first book.

You encouraged me to read and expand my mind.

You fed my appetite as a reader, and when you saw the notebooks I’d filled in my clumsy attempts at writing you brought me my first laptop so I could grow into a writer.

You opened my mind. If it wasn’t for you, I truly would not be the individual I am today.

My favourite memory: I wasn’t in school for whatever reason; you weren’t at work. Down to the station, the rushing of air as the train comes in, the way everyone quietly moves with the train when we’re on. You hold my hand all the way. We go nowhere in particular. I don’t remember if we said anything. Probably. Probably not. It doesn’t matter. I was five, and it was one of the happiest moments in my life.

Happy Mother’s Day. Happy every ordinary day. And maybe, on one of these ordinary days, I’ll send you this letter. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it doesn’t even matter, and nothing needs to be said, because of course you already know.

8 thoughts on “A Mother’s Day Letter

  1. Thomas

    So touching! Shows your maturity for not abhorring your mother and still appreciating her even if you don’t see eye to eye on everything.

  2. Lily

    This was beautiful. Being a teenager is already so hard. It must be tough when you feel like your misunderstood in your own home. But it sounds like you’ve learned that no one is perfect–especially parents. Sometimes people put so much weight on their relationships with their parents, when really, sometimes it’s healthier to have some distance.

    Very nice post.

  3. Tay Mosby

    Beautiful letter. I hope you get to send it one day. But yeah, she knows 😉 I’m 28, and I came out to my parents a few years ago… I’m also a Christian, so you should know how hard it’s been, first to come to terms with my sexuality and beliefs, and second to tell my parents and… well, you know…
    My dad (who’s actually not my biological dad) won’t talk to me anymore. After various attempts of me trying to change who I was and choosing “the right path”, I just ended up telling him that I needed to live somewhere else because I wasn’t who he wanted me to be. My brother, who wants to be a Pastor, won’t talk to me either. And my mom… She’s had a hard time… She has stopped talking to me some times, then started talking to me again… and so on… right now, she’s talking, and we see each other from time to time, but we don’t talk about “it” just yet.
    Anyways, what I’m trying to say is, and I guess you know it, there is a purpose in EVERYTHING… God has the full picture so, just trust Him 😉 There’s a time for everything… a time for writing letters and a time for sending those letters 😉


Feel free to comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s