Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Girl

How is it possible that I have a five-year-old daughter? It's true. Tonight at 12:33 marks the 5th birthday of my firstborn. I am amazed that I could love someone this much. But I am not perfect, and I make mistakes. So here is my flawed letter to my beautiful girl:

Dearest Emerson,

Tomorrow morning, you will be five years old. Mommy remembers everything about the day you were born - how excited and nervous I was, how tired and hopeful and crazy and scared and happy. How I wanted so much to see your little face, and how you turned out to look so different than I imagined, and how perfect and beautiful you were from the very first moments you were here. I will always love you with everything that I am,and I will always be here to support you and your dreams with love and strength and a listening ear.

Age 4 brought a lot of changes for you.You got a new brother just about two months before your birthday last year, and it was a positive adjustment. You went to New York, Canada and Martha's Vineyard. You had your third dance recital, you went to Pre-K at Saint Joseph's in Wakefield and started Kindergarten at Saint Patrick's in Stoneham. You finished your time at Miss Eileen's. You were a flower girl in my cousin's wedding and you stole the show. You always, always, steal everyone's hearts, especially your Nanny. You said goodbye to your babysitter Jesse as she left for camp and then college, and you sent her letters to both places. When I leave for work in the morning, you run to the window to wave or open the door and yell, "I love you! I love you so much!"and some mornings I hide the tears so you can't see them. You had a birthday party at our house with a 'princess bouncy house," just like you wanted. 

Some days, Mommy is a great Mommy and makes you smile and laugh. Some days I am not. When you are old enough to read this, really read this, I will tell you about the days you made me crazy. About the days when I told you to get dressed for the twelfth time so we wouldn't be late. About the days when you wanted to hide under your covers and I had to dress you there. About the times when I got frustrated and yelled at you, and always ultimately made myself feel worse for upsetting you, but didn't know how to handle the situation better. About the times I had to referee you and your one-year-old brother. About the time I wrote a note to your teacher at school, telling her you had a little cold and packing you some nice little tissues, and you took it out of your folder and stuffed it into your backpack so she wouldn't see it. (You came clean later, but it was gutsy. You told me you "didn't want to be different" and I respect it. But wow.) About the weird dynamic that evolves between your Nanny, you and me when we are together, and how your Nanny feels I'm too hard on you, so she overcompensates by spoiling you, which makes me mad. About how sorry I am that I'm not as patient as I could be, and how I will strive to be the best Mommy I can be.

The world is here for you, and I want to give it to you with both of my hands. Tonight you told me I was "the best Mommy in the world" and I hope you always feel this way. I hope you always feel the love I have for you, and as we grow, we will grow together.

All my heart,

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