My daughter gets bigger every time I close my eyes to blink.
She gets smarter and funnier and more beautiful too. She puts words together that make sense in order to communicate with me. She runs and dances and climbs and pretends to read books out loud and write her name in coloring books. She remembers everything. She has a deep love for babies and other children and she is very attached to the important people in her life. She has a quick sense of humor and knows how to make the entire room erupt in laughter.
When did my little baby start to become a kid?
Okay, she is only around a year and a half, but still. Every day I know this time that I have with her while she is little is growing shorter and shorter, and it gives me a feeling of melancholy. This sweet baby of mine is growing into a kid, and soon she won’t need me anymore at all! In no time she will be going off to college and telling her cool new friends about how annoying it is that I call her every day. Just kidding. It’s really only going to be the days of the week that have the letter “s” in the title.
I exaggerate a tiny bit, but in all seriousness, I do wonder about how our relationship will change and evolve. I know that I will miss so many things from her little years, and it is sad to think about how it goes so fast. As a parent you only have one chance to enjoy the tiny version of your child. After that, they turn into little kids, then big kids, then really big kid adults. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to see her grow each day, and I will love her through every minute. Coco fills me with awe at how she is constantly learning, and I am already so proud of her; but it is difficult to know that the special moments of her little years are so fleeting.
Parenting has revealed many things to me, but one thing I have learned over my short career as a mom is that each period in an child’s life lasts just as long as it needs to, and not a bit longer. If the newborn stage lasted any longer than it naturally does, parents all around the world would be going a little crazy. So while I will miss these sweet little years, I know that change is the only constant in life, and it is best to just go with it.
Thus, in the spirit of the profound love that I will always have for my daughter, whether she is a toddler or a middle-aged woman, here is my letter to Coco.
You are absolutely lovely, truly a beautiful soul. It is my privilege to be the one chosen to raise you and love you and watch you grow, and it has been such a blessing. You are a wonderful addition to this world and to our family, and we are lucky to have you. You will always be loved.
It is humbling to watch you as you grow into your own little person with a strong personality, a funny bone, and a truly empathetic heart. You already know what it means to love and I am so thankful you have grown so easily into this family.
I want you to know that throughout your life, I will do everything I possibly can to give you what you need, but I will not give you everything you want (even if you throw a fit). You should learn how to work hard, even if you don’t end up getting what you want, and even if you don’t get recognized for your hard work. Remember that it is always better to be well-respected than it is to be well-liked, and the way to gain respect is to show respect to others.
It is true that whoever decides to come in and out of your life, I am one person who will always be around. Good luck getting rid of me. I’m here when you want me, and sometimes even when you don’t; just ask, and I’m there.
As your mama, it is hard for me to explain how you have changed my life and my worldview. You have transformed me into the best version of myself. As for my shortcomings as a parent and a person, I can only promise to keep growing with you and to keep learning how to love and care for you better.
So my little love, continue to look at the world through eyes full of awe, and remember that love is always most important. Keep the spark in your eyes and warmth in your heart, and refuse to let others stifle your spirit. Always look for the beauty in life before focusing on the ugly things in the world, and then, do what you can to make the ugly things beautiful. Learn and learn and learn about everything! But know also that there is so much more to life than being smart; you must also be loving, honest, resilient, selfless, opinionated and respectful. Walk with the knowledge that you are never alone, and remember that whichever path you take in life, God will never fail to guide you towards the right direction.
It is quite impossible for me to put into words everything I wish to say to you, so I will end simply by saying that I love you to the moon and back.
Now that I’m all choked up, let’s hear it from you. What would you tell your daughter? Your son?
Thanks for reading,