I know you’re sad right now. That it’s hard to be a grown-up right now.
You always smile for me and tell me that you’re okay—but I know you better than that. I know what your heartbeat sounds like. I know how you smell and how your hair tickles my nose when you hug me. I know you better than anyone in the world—and I know it’s hard right now.
I think maybe it’s because you feel helpless. Some scary things are happening in the world, and you don’t know how to fix them. You’re worried about everything, especially me. I see the way you look at me at night. How your hand lingers on my cheek a little bit longer when you tuck me in. How your words say, “I love you,” but your tone says, “I’m so sorry it’s like this.”
I know you feel bad. But, Mama? I’m a little confused.
Because to me, you’re perfect.
Every time I reach for you, you’re there—and I don’t really need anything more than that.
When I was growing in your belly and practicing my big stretches, I reached for you—and you were there.
When I was born, and the room was bright and cold and loud, I reached for you—and you were there.
When I was tiny and did that weird baby startle reflex all the time, I reached for you—and you were there.
When my belly was empty and I was lonely and everyone else was fast asleep, I reached for you—and you were there.
When I took my first steps and fell one hundred times, I reached for you—and you were there.
When I had a tantrum and everyone else turned their back and said I needed to control myself, I reached for you—and you were there.
When I got sick (and got you sick, too) and felt so yucky all night long, even though you felt worse than I did, I reached for you—and you were there.
Mama, you were always just… there.
I’ll always reach for you, Mama. Because I know you’ll always be there.
And Mama, one day, when I have a little one of my own reaching for me, and I feel sad—when I feel like it’s hard to be a grown-up. When I feel helpless and scared and don’t know how to fix it—I’ll reach for you.
The only thing I know how to do when the world is hard is to reach out for you—because it’s the only thing I’ve ever needed to do to feel safe, whole and loved.
So, Mama? Try not to worry so much. I may not know what’s happening in the world, but I do know what’s happening in my home.
When I reach for you, you’re there. And that’s all I need.