There's no way to say this gently.
You'll never be the easy child.
Not at birth
or five or nine;
not at thirteen,
or any of the times between.
You are going to be need -
need, need, need, need, need.
Needs that she can't meet.
Needs that she can't bear to see unmet.
Needs that won't let her
untangle failure from love.
Needs that will get both of you feeling
that if she only loved you better and enough
you'd be more like the easy child,
the happy child,
the child she turns to to affirm herself
as a mother,
as a good mother,
Look, I know all of this is impossible to see when you're in it.
Just know that when she tells you she loves you, she means it
with all she has.
You aren't a bad kid,
but you are harder.
When you have your own daughter,
You'll understand more than you want to.
and you'll forgive.
For The Tuesday Platform at Real Toads