Mothers Can't Win

I made her.

Yet she slips through my fingers.

All ready to meet the world.

With a fierce grin and a let them have it attitude.

Did I build that?

Did I install the molecules of might in her tiny being?

Can I take credit for the fact that she has always known her mind and has always gone head first into life?

Screaming and laughing.

Knowing everything will be okay.

They say that children are our best teachers.

But they might also be our best mirrors.

Especially for us women who rarely see ourselves as we are.

Our children demonstrate the strength of our will.

To let go.

To live on.

To be brave.

I have never been so popular in all my life as I am to my daughter.

Both a constant source of pride and bewilderment,

I march through this life as her mother.

And oh what “mother” means.

“Mother” means to burn yourself continuously on the hot fires of love

And to keep going back, willingly, for more.

Mother means standing on the cliff of your worst fears and watching them come true.

Mother means faking, shaking, crying into a night where the future is unknown

And the past has scarred your heart.

You want to be perfect.


You want what is best.

And god only knows what that is.

Life is a mess.

Maybe not yours,

Not now.

But always lurking is the next big question of who she will be
And what hand you will have in that becoming.


Mothers can’t win.

They will always be tongue-tied at their 20-something child’s admonishings of their choices.

The choices that we made with so much care.

With so much doubt, guilt, and love.

The choices that clawed at our hearts.

The choices that left us in tears.

No we can’t win.

But winning isn’t everything in a game where the stakes are higher than you ever dreamt possible.