I see you.
I see that getting out of bed is a victory sometimes, how these small-yet-huge tasks you do make you into an isolated hero. I see you making tough decisions between financially supporting your family and emotionally supporting them; you weigh things up, you are doing your best.
I see how you try to sort out your own complications without passing them onto your children; your smile is so beautiful and I wonder if you realise that. I see you, brave enough to start a life across the world, and brave enough to start a new life within that country. Possibilities surround you because you are strong enough to create them, even when you cry alone in the night.
I see your questions, your doubts, your deep desire to do the right thing; I see your questioning is so fierce because it matches the weight of your love. I see how you fought to expand your family, and how you fight to make sure every member of your family is supported and thriving. Even when it tears you apart.
I see you with your young child, struggling to fit the skin of your evolving identity; you will get there, you are getting there, things will change and expand. Your mind is a joy to get to know.
I see your patience and humour and gentleness, even when you might feel frustrated; you’re always there with quiet encouragement and ready laughter. I see you with your hands full of homemade food, children, and the books that help you be so thoughtful about the sort of person you are. The sort of person who teaches me a lot.
I see your anxiety, your struggle to do what’s best, all the while wondering what ‘best’ looks like and somehow getting it right even when you worry you are not. I see you juggling professional and personal and doing both so incredibly well, and still making time to give of yourself for others. I see you, hanging on in your marriage to me, even though there’s so little time to be us instead of loosely connected islands. I admire your growth and new green shoots, fresh after all this time.
I see you all; I love you all.
I notice how it makes me feel when we circle around the one who needs it. When we offer thumbs up messages when there’s no time for more, when we hug without being asked, when we hide notes of power and positivity. I feel the privilege of being able to blurt out my hurts and triumphs, big and small, without worrying I’ll get anything but support – or kind and honest challenging, if I need it.
I love that the warmth of huddling together in a kitchen on a windy day stays with me long after the wind has stopped blowing. I know how it makes me feel to walk into a house filled to the brim with you all wearing silly hats, coming together with curry and questionable games to celebrate my birthday.
I am still feeling what it’s like to be driving, to hear a song, to think of all of you and how you bring richness to my life, how at times I’ve longed to hold one or two or all of you because sometimes words aren’t enough, and to park my car at the side of the road and get this laptop out. To finally write again, after so long, and all because I see how powerful and brave and beautiful you all are. And I love you, and you love me, and we are always just one text away from tears or laughter.
For this night, that is enough. That is everything.