Nurit Gil

My dear daughter, I know

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My dear daughter,

I know.

And I confess that even today, despite the intimacy the years brought, I lose the battle against hormones once a month.

Works like this: they arrive silently, sneaking around, turning our sanity upside down. Then, we start believing we do not fit anywhere and became capable of loving and hating in a matter of minutes either a person, a cake or a water filter.

When I was your age (a little older, actually), I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman on Earth and I stared at her, paying attention to everything she did just to make sure I would act as her exact opposite. A time when my admiration was precisely proportional to how much she could piss me off.

So yes, I know.

That besides being a pain in the ass, my clothing style is terrible, my perfume is too much floral and that every day I ask a question for the thousandth time. I know I make a fool of myself, that making you leave Brazil to move to Israel was terrible even though you love it and that “forgive my honesty, Mom, I don’t agree with anything you said” may just be an authentic right of yours disguised as a trigger to chaos.

So I lose my patience, I say I can’t take your infinite arguments anymore, I demand from you half an hour of peace and silent. Just because. And also because I’m the mother and because I am in charge.

Thus today, I need to tell you a secret:

– I’m lost. Really lost.

You know, I was doing just great as a mother. Do you remember? Until a year ago, I was a knockout. By the time that kissing you in front of your friends wasn’t yet considered a fatal mistake, I was feeling very comfortable. I would change diapers like a pro (you taught me), would act like a super nanny when facing tantrums (you taught me), would understand that young children survive when deciding to live weeks on hunger strike (you taught me) or that babies simply do not die from hemorrhage when their moms make their fingers bleed by cutting microscopic nails (your pediatrician taught me one night at 10 pm).

Then suddenly, you chose that flaunting the belly is the new pink with unicorn and I just wasn’t ready.

For heaven’s sakes, in the not too distant past I was smearing Mustela on your chubby thighs.

So I don’t know.

I am sorry.

I don’t know when I have to be tough and set boundaries, when I need to take a deep breath and talk or when I must have three glasses of wine and ask your father to take charge because I intend to keep my sanity until I’m ninety. Sweetie, sometimes I just can’t take it anymore.

You might be wondering why it took me so long to tell you all of these. Why didn’t I told you that I was fragile and a beginner when you were ten and let you read this letter only in the future when (I suppose) you are an adult sitting on a couch complaining about your mom in therapy.

Well, baby, I needed you to believe I was an expert.

If you try harder, you will remember that while I was the incarnation of a person who used to drive you crazy during the day, you would ask us to sleep cuddled up. And would tell me secrets and repeat that you couldn’t live without me. And when no one was watching, you would like me to rub your head while repeating endlessly “I love you more” in our imaginary competition.
I needed you to believe I was giant because deep down, you were still a little girl.

So know, my baby, that I loved you all those days we went crazy together. That many times, when I only had experience as a daughter, I had to be the mother. Know throughout your life that you are awesome: strong, talented, with a personality that fills me with pride. That you are beautiful.

And that – thanks to the Lord of the Mothers – teenage years don’t last forever.

From the person who is crazy about you,

About the Author
Nurit Masijah Gil is a Brazilian-Israeli writer with nearly 100 chronicles published in Portuguese in both countries. In 2014, she launched her book titled "Little Ms. Perfect," in which she tells about her tragicomic wife-and-mom life. In 2017, she moved to Israel with her family. In 2019, she changed her busy suburban life as a content writer at a startup company, in Israel's central region, for a peaceful life at her own oasis at the Arava desert -- a 1,000-member ishuv -- where she has crowned her aliyah.
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