A letter from baby to mother…

Dear Mum,

I can see you there, standing in front of the mirror, confidence deflating as you count the stretch marks that cover your skin. Don’t be sad. I love those beautiful patterns; they remind me of when I lived inside you. When your heartbeat was the only sound I knew.

You glance at your greasy, uncombed hair, disappointed at the sight. I think you look great. Your hair is that way because you gave up the time it takes to shower to kiss me once again, to hold me, to whisper ‘I love you’.

Those dark bags under your tired eyes are causing you concern, but I see them as badges of honour. You earned those bags by being with me, protecting me from the dark room and the loneliness I felt last night. You’re my hero.

Now you’re examining your breasts, disheartened by their change of shape, and defeat against the cruelty of gravity, but they are my favourite meal, my comfort blanket, my pillow.

I know the pile of unwashed dishes and unhoovered floors distress you, but they show the breakfast I ate this morning, and the paint I played with this afternoon. They prove I’m loved and looked after.

I can hear the panic in your voice as you ask me why I’m crying. Don’t worry, I’m not ill, or scared, or broken; I just want a cuddle. Your arms are my favourite place to be.

I want to thank you for allowing your skin to stretch and give me to grow, for prioritising me above a fancy hairstyle, for trading in sleep for cuddles, for making mess and memories with me.

Mum, to me, you are beautiful, you are brave, and you are strong. You are the centre of my world and I love you more than anything.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your baby.

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