A BIRTHDAY LETTER

Dear 8-year old daughter,

You are, quite simply, amazing to me. You joined us, on a beautiful October day eight years ago and managed to turn our lives upside down. We thought we knew stuff. We didn’t know diddly squat.

Sometimes, when you are ever so excitedly telling me about this and that, I tune out and just look at you, your face, your eyes, your nose, your mouth, your soft hair and catch a glimpse of the big girl you will soon become. A mere five years till you are 13. A teenager. I can’t think of it too long, because it makes me sad. I don’t really want you growing up so fast.

Some nights I go to bed and think… how can this be? How can I be 36 years old and have an 8 year old daughter? I mean seriously, I don’t feel so grown up. When I was your age, 36 was old. 36 knew exactly what she was doing, had all the answers, was so very sure of herself. Now that I am 36, I realize that I actually don’t know much at all. I am pretty sure that my mental-image 36 year old would do a much better job at being your mama than I could ever be. But you are stuck with me. And I apologize, because I am anything but perfect. I am impatient. And irrational. And obsessive. But because of you, and your sister, I now have a mirror to see the inside of me, and a reason to be better, kinder, less judgemental and more understanding. I am sorry that I didn’t have all these qualities to begin with, and that you have to be my teacher every single day. Thank goodness your Daddy balances it out by being wise, and patient and rational.

You are so beautiful to me, and I won’t ever tire of telling you that.  If we go somewhere on the weekend, you will always tell me before you go to bed, ‘Mama, thank you for taking me to…’. And when I say, ‘I am so sorry I got upset with you today’, you always say ‘It’s okay mama,  I am sorry too.’, and you give me another chance, the next morning, to be a better mama. You forgive me my flaws and you don’t hold a grudge. Thank you.

You are so sensitive, to noises, to peoples feelings, to everything. I hope that boy who sits next to you in class stops making all his mouth-noises. I know how much it irritates you, and makes you want to cry. You are growing out of your sensitivity to clothes, buttons and zippers and itchy materials. You prefer jeans and tees and sneakers to dresses. I love that you know yourself so well and I hope you always have that confidence and are not swayed by what your peers think is cool. Trust me, nobody is as cool as you because you blaze your own trail.

You are passionate, smart, curious and full of energy. You are loyal and kind. You are going to do amazing things in your life, and I feel blessed to have a front row seat to see how it all unfolds.

Oh sweet girl, I love you more than you will ever know. The day you were born was the single most, life-altering moment of our lives. And you continue to make us into better versions of ourselves every day. We can never thank you enough for choosing us to be your mama and Daddy. We are lucky indeed.

Love you always and forever,

Mama.

 

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