The four most colorful hats I wear are: Mother, Artist, Wife, and Entrepreneur. The image of myself with a hat tower on my head makes me clearly envision a comical, motley illustration and I smile. I am creative and emotive to put it mildly, not always knowing which adjective should come first- two qualities that usually are my allies, but have at times added a certain challenge to life because I feel things very strongly, sometimes wishing I could protect myself from this affliction but know that I cannot live any other way than wide open.
My only daughter, a brilliant old soul, has just turned 22. Easy and affable, through my spiraling undeniable creative journey, Annie accompanied me, an instant source of unconditional support at her birth. As a baby, among her first words was ‘fragile’- a word we used when something was breakable, or dangerous for her to touch. She understood that there was a quality to a thing called fragile, that something would change if she touched it. Her chubby little finger would point to the bowl of common pins as I sewed my clothing designs and she would say in her baby speak, “mama…fragile.” I would nod that ‘yes, indeed’ mama nod. Annie played alongside my creative workings through the years; happily weaving scraps of fabric through the kitchen chairs and handles of the cabinets. They were so beautiful that I hated to have to undo them to get to the cooking pots. I regret not taking a photo of her installation art, created at the age of 3.
I am constantly but not always consciously waxing nostalgic these days, as my body is transitioning and slowing. The surprising longing that bubbles up, and nips at my heart, creating instant tears is the one where I can go back in time, hold my infant daughter and nurse her… just one more time. I sit here typing in the wee hours of a cold February morning, with a trickling down my cheeks, triggered by these words flowing out my fingers, a wish that when shared with other mothers of grown children, they nod that “yes, indeed” mama nod. I am now a part of the Sisterhood of Mothers who feel this very real longing in our changing bodies and aching hearts.
Annie was taught to be independent, a quality that I have often joked to myself about, you know, that ‘be careful what you wish for’ wish? I hear about other mothers’ children, who call them daily. I have often wished that my child would do that, but really, do I? No, not really. She is doing what she is supposed to be doing, testing her wings and being brave and brilliant. People often assumed she would also be an artist. My answer was always that I was waiting to see where her passions lay.
This past January 8th, I sobbed all day long. This was her first birthday in 22 years that I have not hugged my child….the emotional neon billboard flashing at me: This is it; Things are going to be different now. On one hand, I wish my baby girl was in my daily vision, her presence is magic for me, one of balance and calm, for she is not the emotive artist that I am- Annie is of the great thinkers of the world. All too soon, she is off to California for at least 6 years, over 3000 miles away. Her doctoral dream in geo-physics is calling her there. On one hand I am so excited for her, and on the other the thought causes my chest to tighten up with all those fears of watching one’s baby really fly from the nest. I can’t ‘go there’ yet because it gets overwhelming and my eyes well up, making it impossible to see anything clearly. No one and no book can prepare a mama for this rite of passage.
With the help of my child, now beautiful young adult, I have learned about wisdom and trust, in myself and in her. That knowing in my bones, that through all the joys and aches of Motherhood, it is going to be okay, but not necessarily easy, however it turns out. This dialog is one that I have begun with her too, this wisdom that is making itself known to me, I am sharing with her…telling her that she has it already and to start tapping into the well, it is available to her now. I have always said that my goal was for Annie’s being able to look back on her childhood and say that it was happy and safe. Now I realize it was bigger than that, my goal was to give her my own nest feathers to add to her beautiful blue wings….
I am self employed Creatrix, Gatherer of Women, and owner of the cutest gift shop you would ever want to visit in my hometown of Holliston, Massachusetts.
I live with a creative open heart and the more I share of what I am, the deeper I can dip into that well and find greater abundance. Sometimes it feels as though my journey is just beginning and in some ways, parts of it are…
“One way to find Sanctuary is to become one”
Kamala Boutique in Holliston, MA