There's a special bond between mother and daughter, one that - from the mothering side - I don't feel quite privy to.
I can plant kisses on her forehead and tuck barrettes into her hair, dress her in skirts that will never twirl and take photographs of her that she won't see. We won't scrapbook or bake or bicker or vacation.
I can feel the ghost of her lips as a kiss on my cheek and hear happy noises that are no longer words, but she can't stretch her arms around me for a hug or reach for my hand to hold. We will never gossip or shop or sew or negotiate or garden.
This is not an essay about all the things we won't do, all the purported specialness that's been aborted.
It's just an observation about motherhood, a reassurance that she is, that I am, that we are. Motherhood can't be reduced to one essential experience, and even with all of our won'ts and nevers, there are moments that say to me "this is it."