I've been writing letters to my daughter since she was 22 weeks old pre-partum. This is an excerpt from the letter I wrote her today.
I'm not sure when or how I will talk to her about my battle with depression. I'm not sure how old she'll be when I first use the word "depression" when describing how her mama feels sometimes. I don't want to make my disease her problem, but I don't want to ignore it either. So until I figure out how and when, I guess I'll write things like this so she knows that even people who have trouble being happy can still have such beautiful days.
It's profound for me to watch your world get bigger right before my eyes. You watched all these kids flying around with deep interest. After a few minutes of observation, you took off to the far side of the floor, squealing and laughing as you went. Then you stopped, turned around, and looked for me. I smiled and waved, and off you went in another direction. You stopped my heart to watch you, Ada.
Yes, you were in your jammies. Yes, you had dried peanut butter on your face. Yes, your hair had not seen a brush in twelve hours or more. And all these other moms were sitting on the sidelines, looking very done up and trendy, with their leather knee boots and faux fur vests. I was wearing dirty baggy jeans and oily hair tied in a straggly knot. And all their little ones were wearing things like ruffled bell bottom pants, floral headbands and pink Uggs. Not us, Ada. We were ragamuffins. Fresh out of Slumville. I truly didn't care about my looks, or yours, for that matter. We were on an impromptu adventure. So no, we didn’t stop to look in the mirror when the world beckoned us to go explore it. We never intended to be in public yesterday, but it happened anyway. We were having a rough day, and we needed some fun, so we changed the plan on the fly. I’m sorry if it embarrasses you to hear this story. I can tell you this, you certainly did not seem to care what you were wearing. And don’t worry, love, I don’t plan on making a habit out of public pajama wearing.