I often find myself wondering if my parenting is that of a regular mom. A mom untouched by the death of her own mother..but I quickly realize, when you have lost a parent
nothing you ever do will be untouched by that loss. For as long as I
can remember I have always had abandonment fears- the fear that the
people I love would die or leave. I remember sitting next to my dad
while he was on our elliptical getting ready for his upcoming
[child-less] vacation and telling him how I didn't want him to go
because I was scared he would die in a plane crash or get hurt on
vacation and I wouldn't have any parents left. Worrying that you will
become an orphan is not something most children think about but it was
ever present in my mind. It still is.

Now, more than worrying about losing my own parent I worry about being the parent who is lost. I am sure it is relatively normal to worry about your child being left
on this earth without you but I sometimes wonder if I take it to an
extreme because of my experience. I started questioning this more when
my friend saw all the mementos, letters, baby books, pictures etc that
I have kept, made, written or taken for Hayden and was taken aback. I
seem to have a slight obsession with capturing moments for her. I will
keep anything that I think I would have wanted my parents to
save for me. If I loved a certain picture I will make sure to take that
picture when Hayden does that thing...or if I really cherish a note
that my mom wrote to me when I was in her belly, I do the same for
Hayden so that if I were to be gone one day she would have all these
things from her mommy (this can't be normal..can it?)

Memories of my mom are few and far between for me and I want to make sure that, if I were ever to leave Monkey, she would never wish she had something from me or wish
she knew who I was or how I felt about her. She will never question how
loved she was or what her life was like as a belly-dweller or as a
baby. I may be the annoying mom who always has her camera out and I may
even miss out on doing something fun with Hayden because I want to get
it on film for her (I'm working on finding a good balance..its very
hard for me) but I know hope that when she is older,
she and I will look through all these things I have saved for her ...I
will share a silly little anecdote about that day or laugh with her
about how she still makes a face that she made when she was little. I,
of course, have had these moments with my dads or my grandma but I know
it would've been different with a mom. I may build up the
mother-daughter relationship to be something it isn't or I may just
imagine it to be exactly what I wish I had the chance to experience but
it gives me something to live up sets the bar.

I leave you with a passage from my nutty notebook that I wrote to Hayden while she was in my belly (please forgive the super scatter-brained
rambling..I was huge, hot and mommy brain was in full swing.)

"Sunday May 24, 2009- We are ready & waiting for you! I've got all we need & the last thing is you! I just took a shower and talked to you the
whole time. I feel like you listen. I told you how loved you are. You
really are the most loved kid ever--by the whole family. You are the
first baby after the generation of me and daddy. Maybe You'll be
reading this when you're a teen-that's amazing to think of. In the
shower I was telling you how there will be many times we do things that
you think are unnecessary, stupid or embarrassing but, I hope, you'll
realize we do things to make sure you're in a safe, healthy and
appropriate environment. Nothing we ever will do will be for "no
reason." Everything we do will be thought out and in your best
interest. Even if you won't realize it until 15years later (or never)
we want to keep you happy and safe. My dad did it & I knew it was
"for me" & not "against me." Like when I would go to a friends
house he would call to make sure the parents were home & knew I was
coming. I know it was to keep me honest & in safe situations. I
appreciate it now and even though it was annoying then I knew it was
for the best. I hope we do that for you and you know it. We cherish you
& everything we do is for you from now on!"

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