My daughter, I want to tell you all the things I hope for you but I don’t want to box you in with a sense of expectations. I want to share all the fears I have but don’t want to weigh you down with burdens that are not yours to carry.
You challenge me, delight me, grow me and comfort me. I see aspects of me reflected in the mirror of you- some just a hint and others magnified beyond what I have known. While I desperately want to protect you from all the heartache of this world, I know that without it you will not be able to grow and be your whole self. I can’t protect you from it all but know that I will feel it with you. Daughter, I will always be here to hold you, cry with you and remind you of the incredible person that you are.
The future holds so much promise and openness. I see you in all your diversity of interests and dreams and wonder which ones will hold true, lasting into a career or passion in your older years. I see the areas you struggle in and wonder if you will persevere, flourish and grow through them or give up. Please don’t ever give up. This world needs the entirety of you, struggles and all.
You bring so much joy to those who know you. Your capacity for empathy blows me away. Never lose that. The only way you can keep that though is if you learn how to release the burden too. I know from experience that carrying the pain of others leads to shutting it down all together. Let your capacity for self-care, faith and rest grow in equal measure to your empathy.
I feel that we are standing on a precipice as you turn nine. Looking ahead I can see more tumultuous years in store. I can’t say that I am fully looking forward to this all but I am looking forward to a growing relationship with you. I already love our conversations and know that there are so many more to come.
My commitment to you
I am not always the mum I want to be for you. For the times I let you down, I am truly sorry. Perfection is not possible but I commit to you that I will always be working on being your mum. As your little eyes watch and take in so much, I pray that they see a model of messing up, taking responsibility and growing through new choices. We are all works in progress and I want to teach you how to walk that journey well.
Let’s explore this world together. Take my hand, daughter. Show me what you notice and discover and I will do the same.