The mother always described the moment when we first met and she held me in her arms for the very first time as a feeling similar to that of transcendence. As if I’d reached out and cupped her heart inside my minute-old hands, my mother’s heavy armor fell hopelessly into a pile at my tiny feet.

It was, for us, a time of boundless hope, teeming with the promise of a new Between Mother and Daughter, a time when our resiE•ctive scorecards were still without sent or injury. A time when we had yet even to make our first mistakes. A moment made beautiful by its ignorance as we were blissfully unaware of the long and winding road that stretched ahead of us. It was the closest to perfection we would ever come.

Back at the beginning and with her heart overflowing with love, my mother looked down at her newborn baby daughter and into eyes that mirrored the ven/ best parts of her own reflection.

And what my mother could not have known then was the gravity of the mistakes with me she ultimately would make. Errors that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

And as I gazed back at this beautiful woman who loved me more than I could possibly comprehend, and who wanted nothing but the best for me I would never have imagined all the ways I would break her heart. Nor could I have fathomed then the breathtaking pain that arises with coming into the particular wisdom and understanding of a perspective that often finds us too late.

Between every mother and daughter is a relationship established at the very intersection of where reality meets hindsight meets perspective. The problem for mothers historically has been that before now, there was not a method in place that would permit us an easy way to leverage the power of those respective angles on a consistent basis in our lives as moms. Before now, motherhood was without a sure advantage, a process that allows us to be, for our daughters, a better version of ourselves.

It isn’t until we have daughters of our own that the dots can even begin to be connected. Something curious happens to us as women the instant we can relate to our mothers in this surreal way. When we experience for ourselves the enormous love that bounces between mother and child. Once we can personally speak to the range of emotions it creates in us that nearly takes our breath away.

And much like our own mothers, all we really want for our girl is to see her grow up happy and whole. Confident. Fair. Capable. Strong. Smalt. As mothers, we too begin with our very best intentions at heart.

In reality, a mother’s legacy is established, not by the scope of her intentions, but through each interaction with her child, a moment at a time. And for me, this reality is the thought that most haunted my daydreams about the possibilities the future might hold for my daughter and me. It used to scare the crap out of me. Because I was terrified of the chance that things might play out with my daughter in a similar fashion to what I’d gone through with my mother Between us were the markings from wounds that had gathered across our years together. Matters of conflict that had not managed to find their proper closure- And I worried about the odds of what my own motherhood experience would be. Wondered if, more or less, the eventuality that she would, in fact, break my heart, was something that I should expect.

There were nights when all I could do was lay awake and stare at a spot on the ceiling and consider all the millions of mothers who’d come before me. Mothers who loved their daughters just as much as I loved mine. Mothers too, who played with their little girls and sang to them Recited the ABCs and patiently sat with them through whatever favorite children’s program for the two millionth time. Mothers who laughed and did silty things with their daughters. Watched her take her first steps.

Just as my mother had done with me.

And so in consideration of the long and curvy road that loomed ahead of me and my brand new baby daughter, I had to wonder: mat does any of it really mean?

I knew it would be impossible to know in advance all that would be learned and discovered along the path of our journey together And as far as our relationship as mother and daughter, I hadn’t a clue about how I might see our relationship shift and grow and transform over time. Just as it would be foolish to try and guess beforehand the characteristics of her childhood that she might reflect on most at the time of her adulthood.

Our life together was just one big fuzzy puzzle of a picture, unfolding slowly over time. So when my daughter was only a few months old, I created a way to capture those puzzle pieces of our journey together, one by one, and as our picture gradually came into focus. This is called Paperbanking. The philosophy is called Breadcrumbs.

What I hadn’t known at the time (of course) were all the ways this decision would completely change my life and provide me with a secret push to be a better parent It kept me focused on what mattered and pressed me to keep everything in perspective.

When I created the first Paperbank for my daughter, I never would have believed then that something so simple could have such a profound effect on the entire dynamic of the relationship I have with my daughter from the first year of her life to this very day Paperbanking is the secret to why our mother-daughter experience has managed to avoid many of the emotional landmines that so typically are part of this complex relationship. It afforded me the power of a hidden advantage; a tool that quietly worked in the backdrop of our life together for our mutual benefit.

But the indescribable deep IEace it has brought into my life as a mother is wide because of the other gift manifested of its process by default: A behind-the-scenes account of my experience of the first ten years of my daughter’s life. But what makes it so extraordinary is that it does so from a value of multiple layers of perspective: That of a mom in a gradual process of discovery as I come to know the person who happens to be my daughter. Next, is that of my own journey and growth as I adjusted to discover who I am as a Mother. And then there’s that of the underlining story; the relationship between us two as it unfolded over time and through those interactions.

If adulthood is truly the place where hindsight, perspective, and reality all intersect, then the time of Motherhood should seek to move in the wisdom of that which we already know to be true. It all counts.

Paperbanking is never having to wish your daughter could understand.

One day she will.

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