Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Hope

Dear Lainie, 

You're growing up before my very eyes. Growing so fast, and in ways that amaze me and terrify me-something you won't understand until you're a mother yourself. Until you have a baby girl that you're watching sprout like a weed, a little girl that you're watching become more like you every day.
And you are.
More like me every day.
And still somehow your very own person, in every single way.
But when I see myself in you, in the way you crinkle your nose when you laugh, in the way your voice gets deeper when you're being sarcastic, in the way your eyebrows go up the entire time you're telling a story because you're so excited to get to the end, my heart stops in those moments.
I love you so much in those moments.
And I'm so scared in those moments.
Scared that you'll make my mistakes.
Scared that you'll feel the same pains.
That you'll also develop the same scars, as well as the same facial expressions.
Scared that you, like me, will grow up too fast and fall too hard and feel too much.
And at some point you'll be scared to feel anything at all.

And in those moments where my heart stops and time seems to suspend, and a whole world of possible heart aches for you opens up before my eyes, I don't know what I wish I could protect you from and what I don't. Because I don't know which of those hurts and mistakes and heartaches lead me to you, or all the other good things about me, about my life, about our family.
So I guess I just hope that you know a few things I didn't, and you do with those secrets what I couldn't. I hope you know that you're beautiful. Truly. That empathy and compassion is one of the most important qualities a man can have. That bad boys will most likely do what they do best: bad things. And that includes treating you, my sweet girl, badly. I hope you know that at some point you will have to leave a place. Any place. And you will feel unbelievably sad. Not just because you will miss the place, but because you know you will miss the person you were there, the person you are in that exact moment in time. Because sometimes leaving means never going back. I hope you know that if a dress shows your butt when you bend over, it's a shirt, not a dress. I hope you know that coral and melon colors will always look great on you. I hope you know that you're a survivor. You come from a a long line of them and you are one, so don't let anyone tell you that you couldn't make it without them. 
You will always be ok.
You will always be loved.
You will always have a home in me.
You will always, no matter what you do or where you go, be my daughter.
One day you'll realize you're becoming your mother. 
One day you'll see yourself in your own daughter.
I hope you learn from me, and learn from her, and never stop trying to see the best in the most painful situations.

Most of all,
I hope you don't grow up too fast.
Even though I know you will. 
Because we all do.
But I still try to slow it all down whenever I can.
I hope when you grow up you do the same.

I love you.

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