Just thinking about beginning this letter to you has me choking back tears. You and I have been in this together the longest. You are the one who first made me a mom. I had always dreamed of being a mom, but I could have never imagined how much love would fill my life once I did become one.
I look back on your eight years of life, and there are so many things I want to say. You have taught me just as much, if not more than I have taught you. I remember hearing people say that about their kids before I had you, and I didn’t really get it. I thought, awhh that’s cute… but I get it now. You really have taught me so much. You have taught me that sometimes you just need to slow down a little bit in life, and enjoy the small things. Smell the roses. You have taught me that little people have very big emotions too. You have taught me to be a more organized person through your very distinct need for routine and order. You have taught me about unconditional love. Not just in the way that I will love you no matter how hard things can be as a parent, but through how you have loved me regardless of how many times I have messed up as a mom.
There are also so many things I want to apologize for. I am so sorry for so many things. Being the oldest came with the price of going through the most as far as what I put you through goes. Learning how to parent isn’t always easy, and it’s a never-ending class. One minute I think I have got things figured out, and then life throws another curve ball. Learning how to parent a very independent, strong-willed, gifted child who is starting their ‘terrible’ or ‘terrific’ twos a bit early, in the midst of going through a divorce… well no matter how hard I may have tried to protect you, you got hurt so many times through the process.
I am so sorry for the years of me trying to find my way, trying to land on my feet, trying to figure life out. I was lost and confused, and hurt and scared. I didn’t make all of the best choices, and because of that, I know I hurt you.
I am so thankful that now, I can truthfully say I am doing the best for my family. All of you. But I will continue to be sorry for the times that I was not. And I will continue to be thankful for the way you have shown me love and forgiveness through all of my mistakes and poor parenting choices.
If I am honest, when I think about you turning eight, I feel scared. You are growing up right before my eyes, and nothing I do can stop that from happening. You are becoming such a beautiful big kid, and I am so excited to watch you continue to grow into the beautiful big kid you are. But I also want to hold on to these young years a while longer. I am not ready to let them go. I am not ready for the day my hugs don’t make it all better. Or the day my silly, goofy behaviour won’t pull you out of a sad mood. I’m not ready for when getting a note from me doesn’t make your whole face light up.
You turning eight means in two years you are ten. And at ten you are such a big kid. So different from seven, or eight. And once you are ten there are just eight more years and you will be EIGHTEEN. That’s so soon! And while it feels so far away for you, it feels so soon for me, based on how fast these last eight years have flown by. I feel like just yesterday I was coming home from the hospital after having you.
I promise you this, I am going to continue to work on being the best mom I can possibly be. I want you to always be able to come to me, and tell me anything and everything, just like you do now. As hard and bittersweet as it is to watch you grow up, more than anything it is beautiful. I am determined to enjoy every day that I have with you, because before I know it, you will be an adult and I will be missing when you turned eight.
You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.