Dear Maia and Robin,
I’ve never written you a joint letter before but what I want to tell you right now goes for both of you. I wanted to thank you.
Maia, you taught me more about myself than I could have otherwise learned in a lifetime. You taught me patience (a concept I still struggle with) and love. Most of all, you taught me how to be brave. Because of you, I weathered storms I thought would kill me. Thanks to you, my life was flooded with love. Every day is a lesson with you. I don’t think there will ever be a day when you won’t teach me something new. I’ve made and will surely make many mistakes, but I am learning to be a bit more like you and notice the good you see in me. For all that, thank you.
Robin, you allowed me to enjoy motherhood without any pressures taking away from that joy. Your sweetness was just what I needed at a time when I risked becoming bitter and resentful. You’re such a joy to be around, the perfect companion to your sister and a sidekick to a mum who will miss you sorely once you start school. You still think you are part of me and I feel the same way about you. Actually, I still feel like that about your sister too, so I doubt I’ll ever cut the cord that ties us together.
I am writing this today because you recently taught me the biggest lesson there is to learn about parenting. You both taught me to let go. As I just said, I doubt I’ll ever feel ready to let you go into the world, but I know it’s inevitable. Robin, I might have procrastinated for months, but I finally had to fill in that playschool application for you. At the end of the day, this shouldn’t be about me and my feelings but about giving you all the opportunities you need to thrive.
Maia, the biggest lesson to date was delivered by you last week. You had been begging us for a couple of years to have your ears pierced but both your dad and I refused to allow it. There are many reasons why we thought you were still too young for earrings and I know that we will probably laugh at ourselves when you’re a grown woman sporting chandelier earrings, but I suspect that the biggest reason was wanting to keep you the way you always had been. We couldn’t let go. When we finally said yes (I had to convince your dad, even though I wasn’t convinced myself), we witnessed a transformation in you. The most obvious one was the earrings on your earlobes, a sight we both still have to get used to. What I noticed, though, was how happy it made you to know that we acknowledged your desires even when they went against our own. I was reminded that this is what parenting is all about. We try to raise children the way we think is best and have dreams and hopes for them, only to have to backtrack and let go of our own dreams so that those of our children can take root and blossom.
All this to say thank you. To both of you. You’re amazing persons and I couldn’t love you more if I tried.