A Letter To My Daughter

You are my first born, which means you have given me many firsts in my life. You were the first life I felt inside me, the first feet in my ribcage, the first human I nourished with my own body. The first time I felt proud of myself was the moment you were placed in my arms. You were the first giggle I fell in love with, the first toothless grin to make me melt. You were the first tiny human to make me cry of happiness, frustration, pride, worry…and likely all in one day! You are my first true best friend.
I look at your hands when you sleep- the dimples in your knuckles that will soon be gone. These hands that were once so much smaller, that used to reach for mine for help standing, that reached for mine for guidance to learn to take those first steps, that would reach for mine at the park, or the zoo, or the beach.
The moments you reach for my hand are few and far between now.
You are all me.
You are strong and independent and have an excitement to take on the world. You now stand firm in what you believe. You now take steps in the direction you want to go. You now run to the playground to make friends, and run to the animal exhibits at the zoo with eyes and a soul full of wonder. You now sprint, fearless and carefree into the tide.
In just 3 short months, you will be five. No longer a “toddler” but a “child”. You haven’t been a toddler in our eyes for a long time though. You were always tall, you always had a big vocabulary. You crawled early, walked early, talked early. Sometimes I forget to remember that you are ONLY four. You are so smart, my peach. Learning at a 1st grade level, absorbing everything you learn and see like a sponge. You absolutely blow me away. But, you are ONLY four. You are meant to run in the house, and ask me one million questions and have a bright and vivid imagination. When I am tired and frustrated it isn’t YOU.
Be loud, run fast, get dirty, make crumbs. You are only four.
I think of who you have become in these four short years. You are an incredible little girl. The way you took on the role of “Big Sister” makes me so proud. Your little brother admires you more than anyone on this world, including me. The way you look after him, your patience with him, the way you take time to teach him and show him things… You are a wonderful example to him.
You say you want to be three things when you grow up, a mommy is one of those things, and Ada, I think you will be the best mommy. It’s in who you are already.
A lover, a care taker.
I admire your confidence. You can run up to anyone, the DIRECTV tech, a group of bigger kids at the playground, and older lady at the grocery store and make friends. You have an incredible ability to make everyone who comes to know you feel special. You have the ability to turn someone’s heart ache filled day into a blessed one. You have such a contagious spirit. Sometimes, I worry about your friendliness. I worry that I need to tell you the cold, harsh truths of this mad world we live in. But in doing so, I would crush your innocence and that is one of the beautiful four year old qualities that make you who you are.
There is no doubt in my mind you will grow to achieve greatness. The other two ambitions you have expressed are becoming a doctor and an astronaut. You have always been worried about others and making people feel better. You have always admired the world that is bigger than you- the moon, the stars, the constellations. When you were younger, I remember taking you outside to show you the moon before bed, and now you are old enough to go from window to window to find it. You can be a doctor. You can be an astronaut. You can be anything you dream of being. Today you told me you want to sing at church, you can do that.
You can do whatever you set your big heart and ambitious mind to.
You are special. So special. You make me crazy, you make me happy. You test my patience and always know what to say to make me laugh. You push boundaries. While that makes your dad and I crazy now- it excites me for who you will be as a grown woman.
Keep pushing those boundaries, keep breaking those barriers.
You are strong. You are independent. You are sensitive. You are kind. You are intelligent. You are the epitome of a free spirit. You are a dreamer with an incredible imagination. You believe daddy is a prince. You believe in love.
You are absolutely incredible.
You are mine, and you are loved. Always grow, but never change.

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