I am two mothers

I am the mother who cuddles in the bed with her sweet little boy nestled in her and her husband’s arms, and everything will be okay, despite the boy needing constant attention all day.

Every day could be the last with this boy, because of a congenital issue, but the mother doesn’t think about that. She smiles with her soul when her boy smiles at her. She is filled with sunlight every day, in spite of living inside a damp, gray traumatic cloud, in spite of her aches and pains, because all those exist in a completely different realm than her and her boy. The two of them are beyond all earthly challenges – they know each other through and through, and they live. Everything is so easy, even when things are hard, because no matter what they always understand each other, and nobody can help not loving this sweet boy. And if they do, they do not exist to this mother. They are so small, beneath even noticing.

I am also the mother who lies next to a weeping child, a daughter who wants to wash away the brown color of her skin. Who wants blonde hair and to be like everyone else. I am the mother who constantly worries.

This mother can’t ever let up her grip on her anxieties. She no longer lives in the privileged world, where everyone treats her child like the norm. Where her boy is a part of something, despite his  (seen in the rearview mirror ) minor disabilities. Not only did he grow up and grow out of his disability – he now exists outside the mother’s influence, and is doing just fine. But this daughter – she reaches out her tentacles of anxiety and grabs a hold of the mother’s soul, and the mother knows that she would do anything for this girl.

She will do everything.

She will go out in the world and roar at anyone who tries to do any harm to this girl. The world has already harmed her – don’t they see that? Can’t they open their eyes, the same way the mother opened hers and see – see that daughters like these are treated differently. Not only by their mothers, because yes – this mother treats all her children differently. They all need her differently. But the daughter is constantly living in a completely different world from her friends, her teachers, her relatives – almost everyone she meets. Nobody sees that. Only the mother. And she wipes the tears, comforts the daughter, and inside her the rage is burning, the feeling of being helpless. The feeling of watching her child grow up without being able to make people see what they do to her with their innocent questions, and they’re not so innocent comments.

”Where are you from?”

”Why is your skin brown?”

”Is he your real brother?”

”Why did your parents give you up for adoption?”

”Brown is the color of poo”

The mother wants to go out into the world and cram the knowledge that she has learned into everyone’s mouths , esophagus’s and stomachs, until they gag and get filled with it and stop making her daughter feel like an Other.

And start letting her feel like she is a person. Just as everyone should be treated.

Sometimes this mother forgets that another mother also exists. Years have passed and the first mother, the one with the child who was an extension of herself, a wish too perfect to even contemplate wishing – that mother sometimes looks up.

Suddenly she is there in the room with the other mother, and the other mother remembers.

She remembers that she was once like that. She was once able to sleep at night. She had moments of happiness, of not constantly worrying. Of existing in the moment. She remembers having a small daughter, who smiled back at her so that her chubby beautiful cheeks pinched together, and those dark brown eyes looking at her like the mother was the center of the universe. The mother wanted to give this child everything that that other child got, but she couldn’t. She can’t. She can’t remake society, but she does her best to do her small part despite knowing it will never be enough. She roars, and she informs, and she points things out, and little by little, she tries to re-create the world for her child, and she does this knowing that no matter how much of a tiger mom she is – that will never be enough. There will always be people out there who hurt her child, unwittingly or with intent.

I am two mothers, and sometimes these two mothers meet. And the privileged mother knows how privileged she is, because no matter how much she would want things to be otherwise – that other mother needs to exist too. In this time and place, she needs  to exist, but in the future she builds for her children? She hopes against hope, that there will sometimes come a day when there will be no need any longer for tigers who roar.



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  1. Jag har läst dina ord här flera gånger nu, de går så djupt och jag avskyr att det är så det ska behöva vara. Har övat mig på att prata med mitt barn redan från när hen föddes så att vi i vårt lilla inte för vidare en skev värld.

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