The One Thing I Guess I Never Told You


A message to my daughters:

All these years…I thought you understood, what I wanted you to understand. I was no martyr, making mistakes so I could later pass them on as some armor against your own. I’m no one’s savior. So many times I couldn’t even save myself.

As a young girl, I made my mistakes with no one to tell. Can’t tell your parents…they’d didn’t make these mistakes when they were young. Don’t talk to your grandparents, it’ll upset them. As for friends…there were none that lasted through the years. I’d moved too often to ever learn the knack of making lifelong friends. With no one to talk to, I had to become my own friend. I wrote in my journals every day, determined that someday my children would know that I knew what it was like to be young and unsure…to feel desire, and doubt, and anger, and shame…that I understood them and that they could talk to me.

It was in a fit of fear (and shame) that I didn’t hold on to the very record I’d always meant to share. I pulled them from their hiding place in the floor of my room (have I ever shown you?) and burned them all…7 notebooks full…in the burn barrel that sat in the grove across from my parents house. And since then, I’ve never relearned the habit.

As you grew, I always regreted that act. I tried to make up for it by sharing what I remembered about my own struggle to make sense of who I was and who I wanted to be. Alot of people told me it was a mistake to so frankly share my past with my girls…that it would imply permission and even encouragement that they make some of these same mistakes. I didn’t much care what those people thought of my honesty, I just knew that my girls would know that I had been a real person with real feelings and that I understood theirs. I wanted my children to know that they could trust me with their problems and their hearts.

How sad it makes me now, knowing that with all I told you that somehow you didn’t hear the message of WHY I told you. “I didn’t want to disappoint you that I didn’t learn from your mistakes,” you’ve told me. But it wasn’t that I didn’t expect you to make mistakes. Heaven knows, I’ve continued all my own life to make them.

I guess I never told you that what I wanted was for you to trust me…trust me WITH your mistakes.

posted under Family

Email will not be published

Website example

Your Comment: