I remember the day you were born.
It's not the kind of thing a mom forgets.
I remember that you came into our world, red-faced and wailing, and you changed us forever.
I remember thinking, as I held you for the first time, with tears rolling down my cheeks, that it was the beginning of a long, wonderful journey.
"I've got so many things I want to tell you. So many things we can do together. So much blessed, sweet time ahead, me and you."
And we have had more fun together than I could ever attempt to convey. Fun that, at the time, seemed a part of the normal progression of life. But right now, while you're sleeping still, and I am thinking back...right now I feel as though a spotlight is on all our moments over all these years.
We had so many tea parties.
We read so many books.
We played baby dolls. And barbies. And house. And legos.
We went for walks. And to the zoo. And to museums.
We sang songs together. More songs than I can even begin to try and put a number on.
We played games. And worked puzzles. And watched movies.
We've laughed till we snorted. Laughed till we cried.
We've cried. And cried. And cried.
If I had known, really known, on this day 18 years ago, that all those memories would feel like they took 5 minutes to accomplish...I would've tried to move more slowly through them.
Because now, today, I feel a little bit of panic, wondering if you're really ready. Did I teach you enough? Did I love you enough?
If only there were more time.
But I can't go back, and I can't press pause, and I can't slow the march of days that have made my skin wrinkle and my hair turn gray. That same time has morphed you from a tiny, dimpled, chubby-cheeked cherub, into a lovely, magical adult.
I love the person you have become.
I have loved every moment of you being my little girl.
I will love every moment of you being my grown-up daughter/friend.
In case I haven't said them enough, here are a few things I would like you to burn into that beautiful soul of yours, and never forget.
- You will never be too grown up to lay your head in my lap and have a good cry.
- You will never learn everything you need to know. But don't let that stop you from learning.
- You will always have to fight hard for the people you love. It will always be worth it.
- Your heart will break, one way or another, because life hands us hurts. And when it does, I'm here.
- Your plans and dreams and hopes will shift and change. You wanted to be a princess once, after all. In my eyes, you already were. Don't freak out when the changes come. That's the way of it.
- Hold tightly to the things that matter. Hold the rest loosely.
- Give away more than you accumulate.
- Laugh as much as you can. Cry as often as you need to.
- Regardless of one thing you have ever done or will ever do, I am proud of you, I am blessed that the Lord gave you to me, and I think you're the most beautiful creature I know.
- Even when you're old, with wrinkles and gray hair, you will still be my baby girl. Come over. Let's have a tea party.
Welcome to adulthood, my daughter, whatever that even means.
There's so much more to come. I'm excited to see it with you.