I never had to be brave until the day I met you. Your home birth was planned to perfection; I wanted your first breath to be taken in a place I designated most sacred. In our private space. Never mind the absence of a full medical staff and having only limited emergency equipment, I knew that in the hands of a pair of midwives and me, you’d be just fine. I had the pleasure of placing your barely six pound frame onto my stomach. Your skin felt so warm against mine. I uttered the biggest sigh of relief and paused for a moment – palm on my forehead. We did it.
You have brought me nothing but pure joy since that very first moment. Watching you grow, absorbing the world around you, quiet yet so inquisitive, I’m reminded each day of the light you bring to my world.
I want to protect you as long as I can.
My heart is filled with many goals, dreams and wishes for you. On this, your sixth anniversary, I’ll break them down to the ones I crave for most…
1) The kind heart I see in you now must stay firmly in place. Keep it, nurture it, handle it with care. You are the first to hold your sister’s hand when she is down, the first to offer a bite of your food when you notice someone is not eating, the first to offer to help wash the dishes and then turn around and do it anyway after I’ve told you not to. I couldn’t live without your affection and kindness.
2) Don’t ever apologize for who you are, for what you want, for how hard you have worked or where you are going in life. I don’t doubt you will work hard, but I can already see signs that you are quick to apologize, to back down. Don’t. You have learned this from me and I wish I could take it back. Stand your ground. Be proud of you. Do not live to make others happy or to measure up to someone else’s expectations. You are enough.
3) Be a student. Be a teacher. Learn at every opportunity. Master the gift of reading. Keep asking questions. And when you know something and know it well – teach others. Do not hoard your knowledge – share it. There is inherent beauty in being both student and teacher. It is a gift to learn and a privilege to teach.
4) I wish you wins and losses, trophies and empty shelves. As much as I would love to see you succeed in everything you attempt, and as much as I believe in your talents, I must wish you challenges. It is within the losses, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places, and the failures that your character will be built. As your mom, I’ll do my best to guide you through these moments. I want to prepare you for the real world. Nothing worth having will come easy.
5) Your dreams: do them. Your heart: follow it. Your family: treasure them. Your friends: be loyal to them. Your fears: embrace them and allow them to make you stronger. The money you earn: respect it. Your passion: LIVE IT.
6) Finally, I wish to be here for each of your moments…if for nothing else, to keep you on track.
Mykki Mouse, you are the happiest little girl in the whole wide world. You are clumsy and messy, you’re independent, and you love me. You never leave my bedroom without saying, “Love you, Mommy.” I melt when you stare at me with that little grin – the same grin that almost always leads to us both laughing and blushing at the sight of the other. You’re so romantic. I love it when you grab my cheeks with both your hands and tell me how pretty I am. I adore how quickly you miss your sister when she’s not around. I will never forget your nighttime disappearing acts – sneaking off to bed without a peep to the rest of us, simply because you’re that exhausted. Just promise me you’ll never get too old to cuddle with your mother.
I will always love you.