A mother’s love for her daughter. It is, in my experience, the strongest and most precious bond of love. I don’t even know how to put it into words, it’s so indescribable. One thing I know, is it’s oddly physical as much as it is emotional. I look at Skyler or think about her and my chest gets tight and my heart hurts in a good way. When she climbs in my lap and snuggles with me, I feel at peace, like everything is as it should be in the world. Sometimes she wants to snuggle more than I do, or at inconvenient times. I have to remind myself that I won’t have this forever, and to cherish these times and soak them up as long as I can.
This last week I have been moved by two very different and equally horrifying news stories about mothers and their daughters. The first being the Casey Anthony story. The surprising verdict was given last week and even though the world and I don’t know the truth, it felt like there was no justice for that sweet little girl Caylee. No matter what happened, it was a heartbreaking story. While I truly don’t know if her mother was directly responsible for her death, her behavior was so suspicious that what I do know is something wasn’t right, and she did not react or respond like an innocent mother in search of her the missing love of her life, or later mourning her death. Watching that case unfold felt so foreign to me because all I could think of was how I would feel if Skyler had gone missing and then the worst happened. I would be crazy and hysterical. I certainly wouldn’t be out partying.
And the photos and videos of Caylee – she was such a sweet, adorable little girl. Her age in the footage is not much different than how old Skyler is now. I would watch and just think of Skyler in those images and films. I even saw myself as a child in those – her long dark brown hair gave her a similar look to me during my childhood. I cannot imagine any single person being able to hurt that girl, or any little girl, but it happened. And no matter what the verdict was, right or wrong, it doesn’t change that.
Then the Jaycee Dugard story that just aired on TV tonight. I watched in tearful awe as she told her story. The hardest parts being when she spoke of looking at the moon and thinking of her mother while she was captive, because that was their thing – to look at the moon together. Skyler has always been fascinated with the moon, so all I could think was what if this was Skyler’s terrible story? She had a mother who crusaded for her while she was missing, and loved her and missed her like no one can imagine. Jaycee admitted after years in her new “life,” eventually she stopped looking at the moon. Which killed me to hear her say.
But this story is a one-eighty from the Casey Anthony ordeal, in that it showed a mother’s love – both in Jaycee’s mother’s story, and the love that Jaycee shows for her own daughters, the daughters that resulted from the abuse of her kidnapper. She was able to find love in those girls, in her world where love was so far away. She sees herself and her own mother’s facial expressions in those girls, despite who their father is.
I hate hearing about these horrific things that happen to children in this world, but it is a reminder what blessings we have, and how important our roles as parents are to love our children. They are the most precious thing.