My darling Cycy,
You are a true reflection of me. The older you get, the more I see it, the more it frustrates me, the more it makes me happy. We’re so much alike – from the way that we bicker to the way we play. I see myself in you each and every day.
Your intelligence makes me so proud. Your poise, the way you speak, the way you represent our family smarts each day at school. You make me wanna tell the world you’re mine. You laugh at all my jokes – and then add your own punch lines. Then we both tilt our heads back, laugh, and point like fools. You ask me 1000 questions a day. There’s not a thing you don’t want to know. Our car rides are the best. That’s where we have our deepest conversations. I just want to teach you everything and prepare you for what’s to come.
You are my first true love. You think highly of me, you idolize me; you even smile just like me. I love you with everything in me. Happy 8th birthday, sweetheart. I can’t wait until I can give you the world.
8 Things We Can Learn From Our Children
- To Be Carefree
Every now and then, watching my daughter allows me to slip back to the way things used to be. She’s so free, able to let go and get carried away. I live for moments where I can mentally escape and return to the innocence of my youth.
- To Be Happy
The kids and I were shopping in Target last week. I was standing in the Beauty aisle, fixated on the glitter on a pack of hair clips. The kids were off in the next aisle – I could hear them skipping around and giggling. Must have been one of the many “inside jokes” that mommy ends up on the outside of. Next thing I know, a lady approached me and asked, “Are these your children?” I immediately thought she was going to ask me to have them knock it off, but she followed with, “They’re SO happy. It’s beautiful to watch.” That instantly warmed my heart.
- How To Forgive
Children get upset and the next moment they forget about it. They forgive and forget so easily. I have a front row seat when she’s in a fuss with her little sister, and I admire how quickly and effortlessly the two patch things up on their own.
- To Express Yourself Freely
My 8-year-old is emotional. If she needs to cry, she cries. If she wants to jump and shout, she’ll do that too. And she’ll do both often. She tells me exactly what is on her mind, whether I want to hear it or not. But I’m sure this is a quality we all need. Suppressing your feelings is no good for the soul.
- To Love Unconditionally
A love like hers is unlike any other I’ve experienced. This child loves me from my scalp right down to my toenails. It shows in the way she looks at me with her pretty hazel eyes, the way she holds my hand and links our arms when we walk, the tears she cries when I’m down, and in the poetry she writes. Looking back at all her love notes is all I need to get myself out of any funk. I have felt the same way about her since I watched her take her first breath on that snowy Monday morning.
- To Dream Big
They say if you haven’t felt like quitting, your dreams aren’t big enough. My baby girl doesn’t limit herself. She told me the other day that she wants to not only be a school teacher and professional dancer when she grows up – but the “top dancer in the country.” Well, alright then.
- To Not Worry About Tomorrow
I worry like nobody’s business. Even though at the back of my mind, I hear some older relative say, “Why worry when you can pray?” – and I see my children run around, not a single care in the world. No matter what your past looks like and no matter how scary the future may seem, if you choose to stop worrying and really focus on what is, you will realize that your worries were in vain.
- To Be Fearless
One of the most powerful lessons I continue to learn from my beautiful little girl. Not because she’s mastered living her young life without fear, but because it’s a bit of a challenge for her as well. At age 2, she begged me to stop taking her to gymnastics (for which the full term’s tuition was already paid). Said it was “too hard.” Today, I watch and listen to her talk about conquering things she once thought she couldn’t, and it reminds me to give ideas and goals I gave up on, another shot.