Motherhood...more than a title (Dedicated to Kennedy)

Because I am a mother of a 9 year old....

This year my oldest daughter, Kennedy, will be 9. I always take time on my daughter's birthday to reflect on my title as "mother". Of course this is a celebration on her maturing and transitioning to a new time in life. But I can't help but recognize how much I have grown along side her due to her birth directly. Before having Kennedy at age 22 life felt selfish. Selfish in a sense that every decision I made was because of my own personal interest. Not that it was bad, because at 22, life should be self directed in order to find self-discovery. I remember my days before having Kennedy, still young in my mind, but not able to comprehend how I would take care of a baby and still needing to be taken care of myself. She then appeared from my wound and suddenly I felt a shift in my heart that made the questions I had before her birth, all seem so easily explained. This little girl needs me, I am her rescuer. Suddenly the things I cared about most, if the formula couldn't include her, then they had to be let go. As soon as I stepped in the role of being Kennedy's mother, I didn't change my sense of self, I found a way for it to include her.

My daughter introduced me to myself.
— Unknown

Now here we are 9 years later. Kennedy is my best friend. She challenges me in ways that make me feel uncomfortable, she introduced me to me. It's crazy because I have never felt like I knew myself more than I know who I am today. Kennedy is the part of me that was left undiscovered. She has made me realize my strength, my fears, all while feeling a sense of accomplishment. Her spirit is so free, and her movements are so fluent. She has reservations about things that scare her, such as joining a new team, or challenging herself to take on a new task. She then will come to me for reassurance and guidance. Motherhood has had its toll on me, being responsible for making the smartest decisions that will impact how she transitions into adulthood. I don't always feel wise enough to parent her, or strong enough to hold her. But somehow I still do. This internal sense of pride that develops when we carry a seed of life in the belly. She is my very own reflection.

I don't always have it all together. I don't always say the right things. But she still loves me. She still looks at me the way I looked at my mother. She trusts that I will keep her safe and shield her from harm. I don't know if I will. I don't even know what it might look like. But the same fear I had at 22 is not the same fear I live with at 30. I know that my title of motherhood will call for things I have yet to bare. Kennedy you have gave me all the answers for the past 9 years of my life. You are my wisdom, you are my guide. I can never promise you the unforeseen, but I promise that we will find the answers together, like we always do. And for that you will never have to walk alone....