Over the weekend, in an attempt to start to get the soon-to-be baby's room, I started to try to clear out some clutter from the closet in that room. One of the boxes in the closet was marked "Photographs", in my mom's handwriting. I've never been able to make myself go through the box, mostly for fear of what I would discover in there or how emotional it would make me.
I have been missing my mom like crazy lately - I've really wanted to talk to her about her experience being pregnant and what it was like to be a new mom. She's been gone for 12 years as of next month - and these days, I miss her more than ever.
My mother was an incredible woman - and a fantastic mother. If I am half of the mother that she was, I will be happy. So, it shouldn't have been a surprise to find what I did in the box in the closet.
In a word, I found EVERYTHING. Every report card, note from a teacher, program from a play or musical, my acceptance letter to college, every Mother's Day card. She kept everything. I was sobbing while going through it, just amazed at the collection. One of the other things she kept was a series of apology notes that I had written her over the years for my bad behavior - this is my favorite:
It was a good little bit of comic relief during an emotional experience. I can just picture her laughing as she read it - either at my attempt at spelling "tantrum" or my assurance that I would never throw one again in "pubic".
While finding that little gem was fabulous, the absolute best item in the entire box was a spiral notebook that I didn't recognize. It wasn't something I had used in school, so I wasn't sure why it was in with all of the other papers...until I opened it. When I did, the tears started flowing again.
The first page read, "Dear Baby,", and what followed was a series of letters that my mom wrote to me while she was pregnant, and all through my first birthday. She described her experience of being pregnant, her labor, and what it was like to be a mom for the first time throughout my first year. Everything that I have been wanting to ask her - she answered.
All these years later, my mom found a way to reach out and comfort me and give me an incredible gift. I am forever grateful for the journal she put together, and I will be doing the same thing for my future child. Even if I am still around when he or she is ready to start having children, I know it's something that will be treasured.