A Letter to My Daughter on Her 8th Birthday

My Dearest Emma Kate,

Another year has come and gone and it’s all I can do to to keep my head from spinning. I can’t help but realize that we only have 10 more to go before you strap on your wings and soar.

I read one of the most profound statements that said something along the lines of, “the greatest tragedy of motherhood is for her to love her children so much, that she must teach them to not need her.” That wasn’t it exactly, but it was very close, albeit, expressed much better than that. But in essence, that’s what we’re doing, you and I. I am trying my best to allow you to grow independent of me. I want that very much for you and at the same time, I don’t want that at all. What a paradox it is.

For eight years you have been the light of my life, the sun my world revolves around. “They”, you know who they are…..the so called experts…..say it isn’t healthy to make your child the center of your universe, but I can’t see how knowing you are the Big Kahuna in my life could be bad for you. You are my greatest work. Like Charlotte when she referred to her egg sac, My Magnum Opus. You, quite possibly, could be my purpose on this earth. When I think of my purpose, I imagine I should do something outstanding. Something that could impact mankind. It’s very possible that you are my something outstanding. You are to me, anyway.

I often remember our past. The last few years that have gone by in a blink. It is fun to watch videos of us and see photos and remember the feelings of fun and curiosity and growth that enveloped that time.

I often think of our future together. The trips we’ll take and the experiences we are to share. I hope we always have a strong relationship and that you can come to me for anything knowing I will always love you, no matter what.

I try very hard to just be present in our present. This is all we have. I find myself getting through “tasks” just to move on to the next “task”, when I should be relishing our moments.

At eight years old, here’s how you are: you are nice to be around, simply put. You have a great wit to you.  You are generally always in a good mood. You are not demanding or pouty in any way. You are curious beyond anything I’ve ever known and I have been exposed to more random, useless facts because of you. Your dad and I call you Cliff Clavin (look it up) and just shake our heads with your sudden announcements of “Did you know………”. You love learning, like you always have, and you are very interested in maps and places, as well as science. As long as the science doesn’t involve the body. Anything bodily gives you the willies and causes some sort of physical discomfort for you to read or hear about it.  You must get it from your Grandy, who can’t stand anything gross. Or maybe from me a little bit too, as I’ve nearly fainted at the sight of blood before. It’s actually quite hilarious how just reading The Magic School Bus Inside the Body makes your hips hurt. I’ve known all along that you weren’t possibly cut out for a career in medicine, when as a toddler you used to gag at the smell of your own poop!

You are mostly quiet still– unless you’re around your parents–an observer of people and things, who doesn’t like the spotlight or to be the center of attention. You still enjoy dance and gymnastics, but you’re not afraid to stay at home and do nothing either. You are fiercely independent, but never rude. You are truly the greatest kid. Your dad and I say it often. “She’s such a great kid.” I’m super proud of you and always will be. May you be surrounded by goodness and love and guidance all the days, my dear sweet child. You are loved.

Love,

Mama
XOXO

 

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Cheers to 7 Years

My Dearest Emma Kate,

Happy 7th birthday, my precious darling child! When you were born, I got a lot of advice.  I didn’t ask for it, by the way, but sometimes people just like to give it. One of the most common things I heard was “Don’t blink. They grow up so fast.” I’m sure I’ve already given this advice out to new moms and if I haven’t, I’m sure I will. It is the God honest truth. There is nothing truer in this world than how fast time flies. How in the world has seven years passed already?

It makes me sad sometimes. You’re infancy, toddlerhood, and now half of your childhood is just a memory. Well cherished.  You are a ray of sunshine everyday to me. Rod Stewart (I know you’ve never heard of him, and I should change that) says, “You fill my heart with gladness. You take aways all my sadness. You ease my troubles, that’s what you do).

This birthday, you asked for a glitter water bottle, pink hair extensions, a doll from Hobby Lobby named Emma “who looks just like me!” and a Rubix cube. You lost your third tooth this week. It’s a top one and you look so funny. Sorry kid, but you do. You were so excited to lose it before you turned seven. And your toothless grin makes me smile! You are a little prankster and you love to trick me and your dad. Of course, we never fall for it, but we act like we do. You’ll get this someday when you’re playing dumb for your kids, too. You love to play games. You give the best squeezes. Right now you are over the moon about llamas! You want everything llama themed, from your toothbrush to your bedroom.  So naturally, we had a llama birthday party! You wanted to go to the Plaza and have them sing happy birthday, so we managed that too! You truly don’t ask for much, and you are just happy and content no matter what.

51223912_10219215884014754_175594532396597248_nYou love your family and gymnastics so much! You really are passionate about that. You set goals for yourself, and you are hoping to get first place at one of your gymnastics meets. I’m proud of you for striving, but please always know it is not what you do that matters. You matter, already. No matter what you do or don’t do. You are loved, you are adored, you are worthy, you are deserving. You don’t ever, ever, ever have to earn love. You are loved. You are love. We will always love you. I know you’re going to grow so fast. I cherish the days I have with you. I try to see the world through your eyes. It’s hard, because grown ups have lost that childlike joy, imagination, and wonder. But you keep it alive in our house. Even when we’re tired and don’t want to play or imagine, you make us and it’s good for us. You love to wrestle with your dad and you love to snuggle with your mom. You are our gift. I mean that. I don’t know where we would be without you, but it would never be as grand and wonderful as where we are today. May you always know how much you’re loved and may you love life, always!

I love you more than you can ever understand,

XOXO
Mama

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On Your 6th Birthday

My dearest Emma,

You are now six years old.  This year has been a whirlwind.  Heck, your whole life has been a whirlwind. How is it that you were so tiny just a little bit ago? A little bundle. It seems so far away, and at the same time, it feels like yesterday.

You want to be so big. We have a measuring chart hanging in our house and sometimes you check to see if you’ve grown everyday. You got your first big girl haircut, cutting your  waist long hair up around your shoulders. You just lost your first tooth, and already have another one a’wigglin’.  You want your ears pierced so badly, but your daddy is hesitant, so we’re putting you off a while longer. Just slow down a bit, kiddo. It goes so fast. We have time. We have time. There’s one thing, though. You still let me hold you. Every morning, you sit in my lap and let the sleep fade away in the dark morning. I love it so much.

You are the smartest kid. I am constantly amazed at your reasoning. You are sensitive and logical, also a bit melodramatic at times.  I might add you have a tad bit of a little temper. It’s not a good thing to have. Learn to control it and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of trouble down the road. You are witty and funny. You love a good joke and you think practical jokes are the funniest! We often find our bathroom toiletries all rearranged or your dad will find something you’ve stuck in his boot. You act silly and dance around the house unashamedly moving and grooving.

You are a pure joy. We have so many laughs and so many good times together. My favorite is when you say “I love you so much! You’re the best mommy in the world.” You have no idea how much I love you, Emma. You’re the best girl in the whole wide world!

XOXO,

Mama

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2 Years Old

Emma Kate Darling,

Happy, Happy 2nd Birthday to you!!!

Oh I hope you know how much you are loved. But I’m sure you don’t. Of all the thousands upon thousands of words I have to use, there aren’t enough to convey it.

And not to boast or anything, (well maybe just a little), but you love your mommy right back. I mean a whole lot. Me and you? We’re like peanut butter and jelly. Or milk and cookies. Like hot chocolate and marshmallows or strawberries and cream. The two are better than one. Of the two years of your life, so far we have only been away from one another for a few hours at a time. 24/7 that’s me and you.

I keep thinking back to this day two years ago when you came screaming and crying into our world. People said my life would never be the same, and boy is that the truth. It is all the more enjoyable because of you.

So what does a 2 year old like you like? Right now, you really love Cinderella and you sing a lot. You pick up items to use as your microphone, and sing into it. You like to play dress up in your plastic, clompy heels and have tea parties with your daddy. You really love the playground and don’t like leaving once we’re done. There’s so many other things. Your dogs: Drew, Grace and Ozzie, your chickens, and your new fish Snowman. You make sure we wait for you to get your purse and put it on your shoulder when we take out the trash. You like to drive your daddy’s truck, so for Christmas you received a pink Barbie jeep but you barely push it to make it go one inch, then stop it.

People think you are timid and shy, but I think you are cautious. And that is a smart thing to be. You like to stay close to your people when we’re in a new place or around a lot of people and you don’t really talk to strangers or even look them in the eye. And that’s just fine for now. There’s not an impulsive bone in your body. You are an observer and a thinker. You wait and watch rather than jumping right in. And even though others might think they can boss you around, you know how to stand up for yourself. You have a strong voice and an opinion and you aren’t afraid to use it. Some of your favorite things to say right now sound very oppositional if you know what I mean.

But you also say so many sweet, kind things too. You are learning your manners very well and say thank you so much, please, excuse me and you tell people bless you when they sneeze. You say “I love you much” and if we’re really lucky we get hugs and kisses. You like to give long kisses until we start to laugh and our teeth bump. You give love pats and like to snuggle up in bed. You have a tender little heart at times and are learning compassion. You crawled into my lap and placed your hands on my face and asked me what’s wrong the other day when I was frustrated with something. Just last night you made me laugh when you fell upon the ground with your head resting on your forearms repeating, “It’s no use. It’s no use.” (learned from Cinderella) when you didn’t get your way. It is very obvious that you are a result of your environment and your daddy and I are trying our very best to show you the right way and give you strong examples to follow.

Of course books are still one of your favorite things but you’re pretty fond of movies as well. We take a weekly outing to the library for a story time and we take a weekly outing to a play group where you have lots of friends. Right now we’re working on learning to share and not be a Bossy Bessie!

Of course you’re smart. You have been from day one when you looked at us with those big alert eyes and understood everything we said to you. You are a talker with a big vocabulary, but you get a little frustrated at times when we don’t know what you’re trying to tell us. You have things memorized already like songs and the previews to Cinderella. You found this Youtube video months ago called egg surprise that you watch over and over and can recite verbatim. You are fully potty trained right now and are showing your independence with wanting to dress yourself and put your shoes and socks on.

You are a small, petite child. And healthy!!! Fortunately, we haven’t had to see a doctor in quite some time, so by our calculations you are about 32 inches tall and weigh about 22.5 pounds. You’re fearfully and wonderfully made and uniquely you. There is no one else like you sweet Emma. I must say I believe I won the jackpot with you.

Two years ago, you came into our world and settled right into our hearts. I have a very special place for you in mine. You will always be my little baby no matter how old or tall or heavy you grow and my desire is for you to have the best possible childhood available to you. I want you to know you are loved. I want you to remember good times with your family. I want you to understand that spending time with you is more important to us than spending money on you. I want you to be kind and generous and compassionate to others. I hope you read this letter when you’re sixteen and you think I hate you. I want you to know that always and forever our love for you is full, unlimited, and unconditional. That nothing you could/would/should ever do will change that. Ever. You are my joy, my love, my sunshine, my hope, my wealth, my legacy.

You are my love.

Happy Birthday, cupcake.

XOXO,

MomMEE ( how you say it, with emphasis on the second syllable)

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