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Thursday, February 24, 2011

An open letter to my 12 year old daughter

Dear Oldest G,

On your birthday it has become a sort of tradition for me to articulate to you some random words of wisdom.  It is my hope that one day you will look back on some of these blog posts and smile.  Perhaps they will mean something to you.

Twelve years ago today I was exhausted, overwhelmed and terrified.  I was about to be released from the hospital with you.  Your dad and I were young and entirely on our own.  Your grandparents were all at least six hours away.  Your aunts were even farther. 

Daddy took five days off of work and we decided that for those five days we were just gonna try to figure out what life as a family of three meant to us.

Nursing was foreign and I was convinced you were starving to death.  You made so many different noises.  You were never really completely quiet.  We were at a loss as to why you were crying.  We weren't sure if you should be using more or less diapers.  We had many conversations about your bowel movements, when your umbilical cord would fall off and whether or not you had thrush.

For a while, Daddy and I forgot how to talk about anything but you.

The funny thing is I can't believe that more than 12 years have gone by.  Often times I still feel at a loss.  I still feel terrified.  I still wonder if you are eating what you should.  I still can't figure out all the things that make you cry.

You are no longer that little baby who needed me endlessly.  Nor are you that toddler who said funny words and was obsessed with Blue's Clues.  You are an adolescent, soon-to-be a middle schooler.  Your looks are changing, your body is changing.  I have no doubt that before this time next year you will be taller than your 5'2 mom.

It has been a privilege to watch you grow these last 12 years.  I realize that over the next few years our relationship is going to be a swinging pendulum full of emotion.  For many of those years you will value the opinions of your friends more than you value mine.  I want to say that I'm ready for this.  That I know whole-heartedly that I can face anything that comes my way.

But to tell you the truth I'm as scared about these next few years as I was the first day I tried to safely secured you into your car seat.

It is my hope for you that you will always be true to yourself and to your beliefs.  That you will not let those around you sway you from your core values.  That you will always give faith a fighting chance.  That you follow your passion and figure out a way to earn a living doing it.  That you will treat others the way you want to be treated.  That family means something to you.

That you will surround yourself with an inner circle that will always be there for you and that you remember, it is not the quantity of your friends, it is the quality.

Always there for you,


6 random thoughts:

cjsjaksmom said...

Thanks for making me cry. :-) I can empathize with every thing you said, and I realize that this will be me in 3 very short years. It's hard being a mom. The hardest job EVER. You are doing a fantastic job, and it shows in Greta. She is friendly, interacts with all three of my kids well (even though they are all younger!), and she speaks to me and looks me in the eye, all while being polite! I enjoy it when she comes up to play!
I hope she was able to enjoy at least part of her day today!

myletterstoemily said...

how sweet is this? it was 13 years ago
that i had my first 12 year old, and he
shot way over my head which mad me

your daughter will do fine, because
she has had your amazing love for her.

Anonymous said...

Love oozes from every word you have written...a mother child relationship is a blessed one...enjoy every minute of the ride my friend.

big hugs to you:)

Kristie Maynard said...

Lovely and heartwarming! This makes me want to write something to my daughter who just turned 21 on Tuesday!
Very special!

Jenners said...

This is so lovely and loving and caring. She is a lucky girl. And I felt so much the same way when I brought my son home -- you totally captured that "first week" feeling.

Becca said...

That was beautiful!!!! You have a terrific daughter and I hope that these next so many years will be as easy as possible for the both of you! Happy Late Birthday to her!

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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