A mother’s heart is tender, fierce and full of love.
August 19th 2004 at just two minutes past noon, Leina Christabeth came into the world. After 36 hours of exhausting labor my little 6lb 7oz baby was born with a full head of jet black hair (thank you heart burn). I was only 20 years old and had no conceivable idea as to what love actually was. Then all at once there she was, I heard her first cry, felt her soft skin and cradled her gently and closely to my heart. I became, mother and I became whole.
Leina is vibrant, smart, intuitive, kind and compassionate. She knows how to have fun and she always makes me laugh. I’m so proud of the young woman she is becoming. I will cry like a blubbering idiot tomorrow as I bring her birthday pancakes in bed…she will roll her eyes and smile. I love being her mom. Leina was my first best yes. I will love you until the ends of the earth little darling, and even then my love for you will light up the night sky with a thousand stars that shine just for you.
I keep thinking of Claire’s goodbye letter to Bree. Claire recites it from memory to Jamie in Voyager. I’m not saying goodbye to my daughter like Claire was in the letter. However, I am saying goodbye to a chapter of motherhood that is slowly fading into the horizon as my daughter becomes more and more independent. She doesn’t need me the same way, she’s no longer small, round and cuddly and needing constant tending. She’s leggy, lean and athletic. She has her own way of doing things and knows her own mind.
Every mother of a daughter (or even son for that matter) can relate so much to this letter, no matter what stage, whether you are a brand new mama or an empty nester because “everything is right with the world because you are alive.”
From Chapter 43 in Voyager
“You are my baby, and always will be. You won’t know what that means until you have a child of your own, but I tell you now, anyway – you’ll always be as much a part of me as when you shared my body and I felt you move inside. Always.
I can look at you, asleep, and think of all the nights I tucked you in, coming in the dark to listen to your breathing, lay my hand on you and feel your chest rise and fall, knowing that no matter what happens, everything is right with the world because you are alive.
All the names I’ve called you through the years – my chick, my pumpkin, precious dove, darling, sweetheart, dinky, smudge…I know why the Jews and Muslims have nine hundred names for God; one small word is not enough for love.
I remember everything about you, from the tiny line of golden down that zigged across your forehead when you were hours old to the bumpy toenail on the big toe you broke last year, when you had that fight with Jeremy and kicked the door of his pickup truck.
God, it breaks my heart to think it will stop now – that watching you, seeing all the tiny changes – I won’t know when you stop biting your nails, if you ever do – seeing you grow suddenly taller than I, and your face take its shape. I always will remember, Bree, I always will.
There’s probably no one else on earth, Bree, who knows what the back of your ears looked like when you were three years old. I used to sit beside you, reading “ne Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” or “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and see those ears turn pink with happiness. Your skin was so clear and fragile, I thought a touch would leave fingerprints on you.
You look like Jamie, I told you. You have something from me, too, though – look at the picture of my mother, in the box, and the little black and white one of her mother and grandmother. You have that broad clear brow they have; so do I. I’ve seen a good many of the Frasers, too – I think you’ll age well, if you take care of your skin.
Take care of everything, Bree – oh, I wish – well, I have wished I could take care of you and protect you from everything all your life, but I can’t, whether I stay or go. Take care of yourself, though – for me.
You should know, Bree – I don’t regret it. In spite of everything, I don’t regret it. You’ll know something now, of how lonely I was for so long, without Jamie. It doesn’t matter. If the price of that separation was your life, neither Jamie nor I can regret it – I know he wouldn’t mind my speaking for him.
Bree, you are my joy. You’re perfect, and wonderful – and I hear you saying now, in that tone of exasperation, “But of course you think that – you’re my mother!” Yes, that’s how I know.
Bree, you are worth everything – and more. I’ve done a great many things in my life so far, but the most important of them all was to love your father and you.
Once you’ve chosen a man, don’t try to change him, it can’t be done. More important – don’t let him try to change you. He can’t do it either, but men always try.
Stand up straight and try not to get fat.”
By: Diana Gabaldon