An ode to the women who carry us…
It’s impossible to enter this world without having been carried by a woman.
Carried, nurtured, loved and cradled.
Through sickness. Stretch marks and morphing skin. Cravings and moods that change like the wind. Fear and excitement become intertwined. The pain relief, is life itself. Producing life. Growing, watering and feeding life. A bundle of joy. A bundle of tears. A bundle of ‘what the fuck do I do next?’
We learn these precious words promptly. In reply to being handed a glass of water or presented with a plate of food. What are we really thanking you for?
Thank you for carrying me. Thank you for making me. Thank you for loving me.
The carrying continues. Out of the stomach, physically disconnected, but the umbilical cord remains. It remains in a hug. It remains in an indescribable need. A yearning for comfort than can often only be provided by the woman that carries us.
I drew on the walls. I cut my hair behind the sofa. I stole booze from the cupboard. I got so drunk at a party that I threw up everything. I cried when my heart was breaking. I slammed a door and it was your fault. I hated you. And you loved me. Loved me through it all because you were still carrying me. Still carrying your end of the cord no matter how far it stretched. No matter how tight I pulled. No matter how hard I tried to let go of my share, my share of our bond.
I look back at all of the times you disciplined me unnecessarily and I see the necessity. I look in the mirror at the woman that I have become and I see the necessity. The right from wrong, the lessons and the laughter. Your ethos. I respect your ethos. No matter how much I learn, how much our opinions begin to differ, I respect everything that you have taught me.
I am in awe of you. I am in awe that you can continue to carry me. The weight of my life on your shoulders, towered on top of your own. You have a job, a love life, a social life, a family, inner turmoil and outward appearance. Yet you still manage to pick up the phone. To know exactly what to say when I can’t find the answers. To know where ‘that little black top with the crinkly bits and the bow’ is. To smell the same when I hug you. To keep clothes from the 80’s that you know, one day I might like, even when you hadn’t met me yet.
A language is built out of this respect and gratitude. You are able to speak in a way that harbours no offence. When you tell me that I’ve put on weight. When something doesn’t look good on me. When I made a bad decision. When I made a good decision. When an essay I’ve written is below average. When I’ve had one too many at a family party. When the boy that I am in love with, isn’t the boy that is in love with me. And even when I forget how to speak that language. When I find everything that you say agitating because of its truth and accuracy, you wait. You patiently wait for me to remember, to learn what I have always known.
I am equipped with all that you have given me. I am able to form friendships that mirror our everlasting bond. I fall in love with women because I know how much they can carry. I know the depth of their understanding because they too have been carried and will carry. I am supported constantly. Forming a net from the women in my life, that I love. The women that I choose to laugh with. To cry with. To dance with. To drink with. To sit in silence with. To listen to. To talk to. To carry.
I carry my friends the only way that I know how. With respect and gratitude. And that comes from you.
This is love. Selfless, unburdened and never ending. I love your laugh. I love that you remember things to tell me and list them as soon as you see me. I love that you often don’t understand the decisions I make. I love the clothes you wear. I love the way that you do your hair. I love it when you swear. I love it when you tell me off when I swear. I love that you love my friends just as much as me.
I love that you carried me. I love that you continue to carry me. Even when you are not here. The beauty of this bond is that it’s transcendent. Through time, through space through life.
Everlasting gratitude, respect and love.
To the woman who carries me.
Thank you, I love you.
And to the women that I love. Thank you for laughing at me when I try to be funny. Thank you for bringing me coffee even when I don’t ask for it. Thank you for leaving notes on my bed. Thank you for keeping me grounded. Thank you for making me laugh until I cry. Thank you for travelling around London on the hunt for my laptop. Thank you for empowering me and making me feel sexy. Thank you for being my friend even after I slept with your brother. Thank you for holding my hair when I’m sick. Thank you for dancing with me despite the blisters. Thank you for getting a matching tattoo with me. Thank you for guiding me and inspiring me. Thank you for coming to the sexual health clinic with me. Thank you for telling me it was his loss. Thank you for popping the spots, applying the cream and plucking the eyebrows. Thank you for holding my hand.
Thank you for forcing me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for challenging me.
Thank you for loving me and thank you for carrying me.
Happy International Women’s Day.
I love you all.