A Letter to My Little Girl
One month old
18 months old
2 years old
Haley and her 3rd (early) B-day present. A guinea pig named Pepper
This letter has taken me almost 3 years to finish. I started it when you were 2 months old. Before you were born, I began thinking of who you would be. Certainly you would be like me as a little girl; shy, pleasing, loved books and dancing. Possibly you would be like your dad; strong, quiet, troublemaker. My first lesson in parenthood, is children have their own unique personality. Every day I am reminded you are your own little person. You are a born leader, gentle, alert, infectious, sensitive, outgoing, observant. You like princesses and dragons equally and pretend sword fight in your fancy fairy dress.
When you learned to talk, I'll never forget one of our first conversations:
We took a stroll almost nightly after dinner since you were a baby. You eagerly pointed to the moon whenever you saw it. Moon was your first word. Just like every night, we saw the moon.
Haley: "Look! MOON!!" Pointing eagerly at the glowing sliver in the sky.
Mama: "Yes, Haley. There's the moon", with slightly forced enthusiasm since this was about the millionth time you've pointed this out.
But this time...was different.
Haley: Gaze fixated at the moon, and appearing to be as confident as a billionaire business man in a boardroom, you state, "I'll go get it mama!"
Mama:(heart melting and not one ounce of forced enthusiasm) "OK Haley. You go get the moon. I know you can!"
That's just you. I have to say since having you, I believe in the impossible just a little bit more.
When you were a little baby, the best compliment I ever got about you was from a lady walking behind us in the mall. I was carrying you over my shoulder, trying to burp you. This lady comes to tell me she had never seen a baby so young hold eye contact with her for so long. She said it was a wonderful trait for a baby to possess because she had worked with several children in her life as a retired child psychologist. To this day, Haley, you are still like this. You will ask me to look at you when I talk to you and sometimes you touch people gently on their arm or cheek to get us to look at you.
One hurdle we had to get over this last year was how well I could take care of you since getting Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had to explain to you my hands were "ouchy". Although many parts of my body hurt, my hands are always the worst. You began to get the concept and consistently started telling me you will be a doctor and help them. I just want to thank you for that.
Some lessons I'd love to impart on you:
- Contrary to what people think, wisdom does not have to come with age. Wisdom is being able to apply many types of knowledge to your life no matter how old you are. It's learning to be content when things are tough, and learning to be humble when things are great.
- Nobody is perfect, but we can all learn from each other. You may have friends who will make mistakes and go downhill with tough lessons. Instead of doing what they did, learn from them and you will save yourself from learning the hard way. If it can cost you your life, it's not a lesson worth learning.
- I believe everyone is given a special gift. You nurture your gift with your parent's love for you, experience, passion, and hard work. I would give you the world, but the most important things for you to have are those you get and learn for yourself.
- On being a teen someday. Sometimes I feel like you already are and you're barely out of diapers. You have a strong sense of who you are, right and wrong, and not settling- strange for someone your age. When you are young, you have to use heart and intuition because your brain isn't completely developed. Once you can utilize logic more, don't lose that intuition, heart, and gut feelings. "Ethics and atmosphere are inseparable. So where are you hanging out?" random quote I remember. Be careful of who and where you chose to be. It is worth having only a couple of really good friends versus having 30 not-so-good ones.
- Don't try to save the world. Save yourself and be an inspiration. Set your own examples and be your best self.
- You can do anything you want, it just depends on the effort you put into it. I believe this more than any other truth.
I've always wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. I wrote the best short stories about fairies and animals going to heaven, but stopped when my parents got divorced. All of a sudden life was too serious for make-believe. Even though I always wanted to be a writer, I never thought I'd have a child. Ironically, now that I've had you, you give me the inspiration to write again after so many years. Now I have both my loves.
Right now you come to me and say " My belly hurts. Will you rub it?" I think of the pain in my hands and suddenly it's irrelevant. I say "Come here honey." Then I rub your belly until you go to sleep. And recite my poem to you:
I'd give you the moon at night,
or maybe just a kiss good night.
I'd give you the stars above,
will you settle for all my love?
I'd give you a sun so bright,
but I can warm you, hold you tight.
I'd give you the whole world too,
or simply say "I'll always love you".
To my darling Haley. Happy 3rd Birthday September 10.
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