Grade 4

She starts Grade 4 today. I always thought it would be when I turned 35, the age my mother died, that it would really hit me. It is not like I haven’t thought of my own mortality more since becoming a mother, that must be inevitable, but I thought this thought process would be more … momentous. Like, it would be an aha moment, or a specific event. Instead it hits me when I am going through my closet and stumble across a dress I no longer wear so I pass it on to her; that didn’t happen with my mom and me. Instead, I would open boxes and hold onto my mother’s things. We didn’t know each other when we were the same height the way my daughter and I do. By the time I was in Grade 4, I was used to my mom being gone, years had passed since her death. I sometimes feel like I have cheated something, I keep paperwork organized in binders so that if I go tonight, her tomorrows won’t be a bureaucratic mess. I plan activities and trips so that I know  we will share them together. I don’t like ‘live this day like it is your last’ mantras, they make me stressed out; they seem impossible and insincere. I do not plan on my last day being anytime soon, but I guess, neither did my mom. My mom did not have the chance to physically send me off to Grade 4. Since my daughter turned seven I haven’t any memories of me and my mom to compare to my daughter and my current experiences. And so, I do what I can, what my gut tells me to do. I walk the ways my mother’s spirit whispers. And it will be OK, it will be better than OK. Because despite the year, the month, the date, the age, I come from a long line of fantastic mothers; I am a fucking fantastic mother.

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