I remember when Oma and PopPop brought you into my hospital room a week or so after you were born. You were dressed in pink – a tiny little baby with big, beautiful almond eyes and the smallest hands you held tight against you (with just one finger extended in a point). They rested you against me and adjusted your hat, lifting it from your eyes where it sat askew. I insisted someone take a picture – excluding me from the frame in my mustard skinned-disheveled state.
That might have been the day they finally let me come home to be your mom, I don’t know.
You were a perfect baby. You slept when I slept, cradled in my arms because I couldn’t bear to keep you in your basinet. You sat beside me quiet and content while I busied myself with your memory book pages. You watched – recorded into your understanding – the world around you.
I could say that our eleven years together have blurred in my mind, but there are poignant recollections that seem to have happened so recently.
It’s odd how my fondest memories have come after you were given to me – it’s as though you’ve heightened my own excitement by sharing your experiences with me. Your awe and amazement when we embarked on our cruise made me feel like my efforts to get us the trip were worth it. Remember when you stood barefoot on the rocks and the sea things sucked at your feet? And the first time you rode a horse – I was petrified of getting on the creature and you were fearless. I did it because you did.
Today, you are eleven years old. You are an athlete. You are a scholar (and I know, baby, you’re fixing those grades). You are a true friend. You are a giver.
You are my girl – messy room and all – and I am so incredibly honored that you call me “mom.”
If I might take a moment, I have a dream I’d like to share. You say you want to study teaching. I want to tell you that you do it naturally. You want to be in the arts – an artist, a dramatist, a singer (I don’t advise that last one). Study those crafts – take every opportunity to develop your talent. And if you should teach, teach by example, not profession – show people you do what you love. Your students will be all those who see your success. Your skies are limitless, the world yours. Enjoy it. Live. Be humble, but take pride in all you do. And never stop believing there is good.
I love you.