There have been so many mamas and so many babies who have ushered me to the place I am right now.
I feel this urge to name names. To tell each and every one of you how you have helped me grow into this version of myself.
I remember your faces and your stories (and, often, what your nipples look like). I probably have a flashbulb memory of a moment with you in my office or in group. It was likely a time you were being really brave and showing me something really important.
I may or may not remember your name or your baby’s name, but I remember the gift you gave me and the lesson you taught me.
So I am writing this letter to you–anyone with whom I have connected on a heart level–for if I connected with you, you connected with me.
“The part of me that’s you will never die.” –Lady Gaga
I want to take a moment to say thank you to you. Yes, I know you sought breastfeeding help from me, but just as I gave you more than help with the act of breastfeeding, you gave me more than a pleasant few hours at my job. The moments we spent together impacted me.
I am a collection of those moments and how I learned and grew from those moments.
So thank you.
Thank you for letting me hold your babies more than was necessary to complete my job. Each little soul I have laid against my chest has strengthened me.
Thank you for showing me the deepest, darkest, most broken parts of yourself. It helped me find the bravery to see and heal the deepest, darkest, most broken parts of myself.
Thank you for telling me the whole story–not just the pretty parts. I want us both to know that in order for us to be our whole selves, we must learn to own our whole stories.
Thank you for your gratitude.
Thank you for telling me in great detail how exactly I helped you. You held up a mirror for me and showed me just how brilliant I am. You also showed me how much I needed self care so that I can continue to care for others.
Thank you for sharing a blog and speaking my name. Thank you for helping others find me.
Thank you for every time you look a mother in the eyes in that certain way to see if she really is okay. The work we are doing as mothers is incredibly hard and incredibly important. We need each other.
You tell me that I inspire you, but you inspire me. I know that you are watching me, just like Lucy is watching me. This isn’t a role I take lightly. You inspire me to always strive to lead in alignment with my values.
So thank you, Mama. And you’re welcome.