To My Beautiful Daughter,
They said it would go so quickly. Sweet girl, if I only knew how short the years would be. Here you stand, teetering between childhood and adulthood and I want to run backwards and pick you up one last time. If I would have known that last time I picked you up was the last time for forever, I would have held you a little longer. I want to watch you dance one more endless show, because last time you danced for us, you danced right out of that phase of your life. I want to see that mess of dolls in your room one last time. The final time you picked up that mess, you carried those dolls right out of your room and into storage, declaring they were for your daughters someday. I am watching you change right before my eyes. When you walk into the room, I am taken aback because I expect to see a little girl standing there and instead I see you.
But I am not all sad…
Because Beautiful Girl, that familiar smile, while older now, reveals a beautiful heart. The compassion and kindness you show to others would make any mama proud. That determined, straight line mouth I used to dread so much, shows up when I hear you talk about unkindness that you have seen. That stubbornness is sometimes aimed at me, but I can now see that that is part of what makes you beautiful. It is that very thing that reveals bravery in you. I didn’t always know it when you were little, but I can see it now. I admire that about you. I enjoy you. I love who you are and who you are becoming.
I have not lost you…
Although I can no longer hold you, you come curl up next to me and we have long talks about life. I love those moments and they happen often. I know that those too will be memories someday so I want to be present today. Your shows are not endless dances anymore, rather they are beautiful songs that you have written. More often than not, you do not even know that I am listening. I slip in to listen to you sing and play and just watch. Watch you enjoy your song. You have traded dolls for little cousins and other children that enter our home. You entertain them endlessly. I don’t know if you know it, but you are their hero.
You are mine always…
I love you. I look back with a few tears because I loved those years, but I look forward to what God has in store for you and for our relationship. I know that the days will not always be easy; there will be misunderstandings and other roads we haven’t traveled before. I know there will be joy and sweet times that I can only imagine now. I am not losing you, I am gaining more. As you grow, I get to see more of who you are. My memories of you sweet, little girl, are tucked safely in my heart and now I get to see what new adventures are in store. Sweet Girl, if there is one thing that I want you to know as we begin the next part of our journey, it is that I love you and you are mine forever.
*Dedicated to Makayla for her 12th bday on 09/02/16
*Feel free to share – I think most mothers feel this way about their daughters 🙂
*candid picture taken 5/18/12 by Hope Renae Photography