Originally written for my mother on the occasion of her 50th birthday in 2000.
A mother and her first born
share a unique bond
formed early in the child’s life
and strengthened through time.
From the day of birth
ignorance is an overwhelming challenge
struggles happen daily
and victories are small and mostly silent.
It’s a time of learning
a time of firsts
the first feeding and dirty diaper
the first spanking and separation.
Mothers and daughters share a special bond
an unconditional love, trust and friendship
no friend or lover no matter how true
can ever duplicate or replace.
Daughters learn by example
and advice from their mothers
how to become strong
independent and kind women.
You may feel sometimes
that you’ve failed
you could have and should have
done more or done differently.
But Mom, never doubt this
by your example and
through your teaching
I have learned and grown.
You have raised your daughters
and they are strong
able to cope with life’s challenges
and survive life’s disappointments.
Your daughters are unafraid
to forge their own way in the world
alone if necessary
or beside a supportive man.
Your daughters have independent voices
and are strong enough to defend their views
even if and when it means
challenging and disagreeing with you.
Your daughters are open-minded enough
to listen and accept different opinions
and even if they don’t agree
to respect and learn and grow from them.
Your daughters are kind and unbiased enough
to give everyone equal opportunity
to prove themselves as friends
regardless of race and background.
You are my mother
I am your daughter
and also your first born
together we share both these bonds.
You and I, alone and together
share memories of true firsts
of tiny adventures
before there was anyone else.
And while I sometimes feel sorry
the others don’t have special memories
of having you all to themselves
I’m so happy that I do.
— Kellie Underhill, Miramichi NB