This is a letter to my daughter, my third born. I hope you will read it when and if you have your own children one day, and understand some of what I felt as a mother when you were growing up and be assured of just how much I loved (and love) you.
I loved you before I ever laid eyes on you. How is that possible?
You were with me from the very beginning, and I absolutely adored the very thought of you.
From the moment I suspected your existence, my love for you filled my soul.
Every place I went, every thing I ate, every move I made… you were in my heart and on my mind.
I am writing these words as you lay asleep, my sweet 18 month old girl, tucked away in bed wearing your favourite flowered pyjamas.
Over the past few weeks you have truly changed from a baby to a toddler.
You speak words, you run, you know what you like and demand your own way.
Tonight you had a runny nose and you were more fussy than usual.
You cried and you struggled to calm down and rest, and I actually drifted off before you finally let sleep take hold.
When I woke again, no more than a half hour later, I found your little hand stretched out to hold onto my arm…
And I thought…
As you grow up, may I never forget this feeling.
As the toddler tantrums begin to erupt more often, may I never forget the immense pride I felt when I first saw you smile.
As you climb to the tops of the couches and colour the walls, may I never forget the simple joys of discovery that you shared with me every day.
As you say hurtful things or flush things down the toilet, may I never forget the sweet gurgles of laughter that made my heart flutter.
As you fight with your brothers or squabble with your friends, may I never forget the soft squishy cuddles at midnight.
As you make your own decisions and choose your own battles, may I never forget the eyes of adoration that once looked to me for help and guidance.
As you ask your own questions and find your own answers, may I never forget all the times that your little arms held tightly around my neck, and tears wiped on my shoulder, after you fell down or your feelings were hurt.
As you surprise me or shock me, may I never forget that you are your own unique person following your own path in this world.
May I never forget that you being in my life is a most precious gift.
As we all grow older, life gets more complicated. It can be easy to focus on the uncertainty, on the hurt feelings, on the past or on the pain.
I will make mistakes. I will disappoint you and disappoint myself. But I hope you never forget how much I love you with all of my being, with a love that will last through the storms of eternity.
I loved you before I ever laid eyes on you. And I will love you wherever you go.
When love is in focus, everything else becomes clearer.
May you never forget.
And may I never forget…
~ Your sleep deprived and imperfect, but loved-filled mama
To read more in this series of letters, visit the Dear Daughter Archives.