Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Love Letter

This is what I want to say to my daughter:

My Dearest Buttercup,

I have loved you from your very first heartbeat. 

I have loved you through your first toothless smiles for me.
And through your first little pouts.

I have loved you through your first steps in my direction.
And through your first run away from me.

I have loved you through your pleas for help in getting your shoes tied.
And through your declarations of "I can do it myself!"

I have loved you through your wobbly, desparate first attempts to ride a bike.
And through your first ride around the neighborhood without me.

I have loved you through your clings to my leg, afraid to be left alone at school.
And through the half-hearted waves of good-bye.

I am no longer the center of your world.

I knew this day would come.  I have been preparing us for it.  It is the way it is supposed to be.  You can't grow and love and live your life unless you break away from me a bit.

Things may get rocky for a while.  You won't like the rules.  You won't like the chores.  You probably won't like me sometimes.  But in the end, it will all work out. 

I have loved you from your first heartbeat, and every single one since then.

As your heart beats now, I love you.

And know, through all of our missteps and misunderstandings, I will be praying.  And God will love both of us through it.

No matter how much you grow, you will always be my baby.

I love you.

And yet, when the eye-rolling, muttering, defiance, or blame-shifting begins, I lose my mind.  Why can't I just hug her and say, "I love you"?  Why do I get stubborn right back at her?  Why do I have to prove my point?  Did I learn nothing from my own preteen/teen years? 

Sometimes I can be calm.  Sometimes I can let it go.  Sometimes it takes awhile.  Sometimes, when she says I never listen to her, she's right.  I really don't want to listen to her. 

Surely one of these days, one of us will grow up.

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