Friday, March 16, 2012


"SHE" (C) 2012, Miachelle DePiano

She became the driving the force of all that I do and all that I am. From conception I swore to protect her, naively thinking I could do so by sheer will power. I have learned will power is not enough; it takes stamina, endurance, patience, and perseverance. She challenges me metaphorically and literally. She tests my resolve, questions my reasoning, and confronts my beliefs. She makes me contemplate what I stand for, makes me consider what battle is worth waging, what war is worth winning.

She reminds me constantly that dreaming is not only ok at my age, but fundamental to my own existence. Her presence demands I give birth to my dreams; her survival demands I nurture and raise them to full maturation. Her future successes require I achieve mine, that I not let age or fear or gender hinder my progress and development. My job is to remind her that not only must you have the dream, but you must work to make the dream reality. She is not yet remarkable to the world, but she is remarkable to my world. My cause, my campaign, is to be her champion and show her how remarkable she truly is. My hope is that she learns she is worthy and deserving of all that she desires, on her terms, in her time.

She makes me laugh out loud, ringing the heavens with our peals of laughter. Life is full of struggles and tears and frustration; she reminds me that laughter is indeed the best medicine. At moments when I don't think I have any inside of me, she elicits a seed of laughter, and the world is right again. Her lesson to me is that laughter’s sweetness balances life’s bitterness.

She compels me to be grounded and stable, at times when I myself wish to be childlike and rebel against the world. She makes me want to be a better woman, better than I ever knew I could be. She forces me to be a better woman, as my journey draws a map for her own. She is my mirror; she makes me see what I wish to avoid and shows me what I have forgotten. At moments her exuberance fuels my own and reminds me age is not what matters, but rather the intensity of the spirit with which we live. At other moments I see the passage of time on my face and realize her time to be is rapidly approaching, and that my time for being is coming to a close.

She is the elements of the earth contained within a singular, spectacular organism. She can be fiery and spirited and hot, a temperament that burns you should you stand too close. She can be icy, withdrawn, and stoic, refusing to allow anyone close. She can be easygoing, cool, and as fluid as a creek bed, or as tumultuous and dangerous as a rapid. She can wrap herself around you like a gentle summer breeze, or whirl through the house like a tornado, wreaking havoc as she moves along. She is simultaneously all of these things and none of these things, and I am afraid to blink, afraid that I’ll miss a moment. Just when I think we have reached a state of calm and tranquility, something upsets the balance and she is off again, not to be tamed and controlled. It is in these moments of watching her, I realize just how powerless I am, and my only option is to close my eyes, and remember…

She teaches me daily we are all still someone’s child, and reminds me that one day she will be a mother. As I ponder what is to be a mother, what it is to teach and guide her, I wonder if I have succeeded or failed in my endeavors. I am left no closer to an answer. The present is too close to my mind’s eye for clear self-examination and the future is unwritten, too far away to be seen, grasped, and understood. Hindsight offers clarity, but even that is distorted by the unknown future.

When my skin is far more wrinkled and leathery, and my eyes are clouded with age, will she know I gave her my best, even if it wasn’t enough, even if I didn’t know what I was doing as I learned this job called motherhood? Will she blame me for her failings, or credit me for her successes? Does it matter either way? Even if I have failed her, will she use those moments as lessons to build upon and move forward, or will she allow those moments to hold her back? I hope that even in my failures she finds a source of strength and inspiration.

I watch her as she begins to make her own mistakes, some of them duplicating my own, and it's painful to watch. Sometimes I think watching her mistakes is a form of punishment intended for me. Life has taught me that you cannot save a person, that they must save themselves, and I think this is the bitterest lesson in motherhood. A woman carries a child, the only protective shelter the child will have. Once the child is born, the inevitability of letting go gradually dawns upon the mother, and all that is left is hope. As mothers, we hope we did our best, that we gave it everything we had, and that eventually our children will see this.

She is unconditional love, but as she comes into her own, is beginning to love conditionally.  The little girl who didn't know a stranger and befriended the entire world with open arms is beginning to see the world with old eyes. My eyes. Is this my fault, or is it just nature's course? Will she be as blessed as I have been, given the gift of a being who will remind her what it is to see the world through new eyes again?

She is my daughter.


  1. Beautiful, just absolutely beautiful. I have no other words.