A letter to my daughter

Me and my girl

Me and my girl

Addison takes a lot of flak from the common folk in our house for her diva-like behavior and natural aptitude for dictatorship.  But really, there’s so much more to her than a proclivity towards reigning supreme over the world around her.   

I recently came across a letter I wrote to her three years ago, on the eve of a vacation the rest of the family was taking to Colorado.  We were leaving Addison in the capable hands of Grandma.  But being a mother that can go from skinned-knee to amputation-worthy staff infection in less than 60 seconds, I was worried.  What if…I mean just what IF something happened?  How would this (then) 18 month old baby know how it felt to love her?  

I know it’s crazy.  But hey, that’s how I roll.  So I did the only thing I could do short of cancelling the flight and peeling my husband down off the ceiling:  I wrote.  

Reading it now, I realize that every word is as true today as it was three years ago.  So in honor of Mother’s Day and the very special relationships women have with each other everywhere, I wanted to post it.   

Random, semi-associated thought:  Wouldn’t it be nice if we could extend to ourselves the love, acceptance and generosity of spirit that we all feel for our daughters?  What kind of women would we be?  And what kind women would we raise?   They are important questions worth considering.  Happy Day to all you Mom’s out there…   

Addison, age 1

Baby girl,  

Mommy, Daddy, and Griffin are leaving for Colorado today.  We’ll be gone for a whole week.  That seems like such a long time to be away from you.  But Grandma has volunteered to be here with you so that you can stay on a schedule and not get sick on the plane.  You’ll probably never read this letter because I’m sure we’ll all come home safe and be together with you again, but there are some things I want you to know, just in case.  

You are beautiful. I put this first not because it’s the most notable thing about you, or because it’s the most important, but because women (yes, all women) have a tendency to wonder about this throughout their lives.  People stop me all the time to admire you and tell me just how lovely you are.  

Addison, age 2

 You have countless exquisite physical attributes, but you have been especially blessed with what your daycare teachers fondly refer to as ‘junk in the trunk.’  Who knows if you’ll keep that gorgeous booty, or just walk it off and become a skinny mini like your brother.  But remember, attractiveness isn’t just about what you see in the mirror.  It’s about what’s on the inside.  Whatever your body looks like in 15, 20 or 30 years, I hope you find a way to see the beauty that others will undoubtedly always see in you.  You are the total package, baby.  Listen to Mama, I’ve learned a few things over the years. 

Addison, age 3

 Addison, you are my wild thing — free, spontaneous, outspoken, funny and loving.  From the moment you were born, you knew what you liked and didn’t like…wanted and didn’t want.  You eat life up, you love it so.  Trust your instincts and you will always be OK.   

And another thing…have as many experiences as you can in life.  Try everything at least once. (OK…almost everything…we’ll talk more about this later.)  Don’t waste your time worrying or trying to do everything exactly right.   Happiness is not a place you end up someday, it’s a series of choices that you make.  You can start making the choice to be happy any time you want.  

Finally, you need to know that loving you and your brother and being your mother is the most wonderful, important thing I have ever done in my life.  The two of you…you take my breath away.  Nothing in my power would ever keep me away from you.  You are a miracle.  I loved you the moment I first saw you, all pink and covered in gunk.  Even if you can’t see me, I will always be with you, watching over you and loving you.  Be good, sweet girl.   

Hugs & kisses,  

Mommy  

Addison, age 4

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12 Responses

  1. This is what my sister says…

    She says, “Happiness is not a place you end up someday, it’s a series of choices that you make. You can start making the choice to be happy any time you want.”

    And that’s why I love her….because she’s like the best person ever….who comes up with things to say like that? WHO?

    Besides my sister….lucky, lucky kids Grif and Addison are.

    • Oh yes, that’s what life has taught me about happiness. It’s true, which makes it good advice. Unfortunately it’s also a fairly difficult adage to live by. And oh by the way, we’ve established that in addition to children being miraculous beings that elicit intense feelings of love, they also (often) make you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, helpless, confused and irritated, right? Sometimes all at the same time. Being a mom is a tough job. You give up so much of yourself to do it well. But it is worth it — I promise. And for the record, you are already doing an amazing job. Happy First Mother’s Day, sis. I love you.

  2. Oh, that was lovely.

    And this is how lame and weird I am…I got to the end of letter and wondered, “Did Mom make it home okay????”

    Umm…

    I watch too much TV.

    • Oh yes, the crazy maternal figure made it home all in one piece. I obviously watch too much TV too, which is why writing the letter was necessary in the first place, lol.

  3. I have really enjoyed reading about Addison and her lovely personality. It makes me think back to when my daughters were that young and all the wonderful things I remember about their childhood. They were all unique in so many ways.
    I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day and many more to come. A mother/daughter relationship is a very special one.
    Enjoy all of the ups and downs and watch your daughter blossom into the most beautiful flower you will ever see.

    • Virginia — I didn’t realize you were reading 🙂 Yes, Addison is lovely and challenging and full of promise. She is truly her own person, which I love. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day too and that you get to see or hear from all your ‘people.’

  4. Aww, I love this…I have tears, seriously. How special for Addison to have this to always keep!!

    • Ashley — Thanks 🙂 I honestly cried when I came across it too. Of course, it was all I could do not to add to it, but I’m sure there will be other letters to Addison in the years to come.

  5. Laura! I *really* enjoyed reading this letter you wrote to Addison… While reading it I recalled when we left Nadia with grandparents and I freaked… Anyway, beautiful words and love that you wrote this eloquent letter to her!

    • Bill — Isn’t it funny what parenthood does to reasonable, rational adults? It’s nice to know I’m not the only person to ‘have a moment’ when leaving a little one for an extended period of time 🙂

  6. the most cherished items I have from my mom are letters she wrote me throughout the years telling me I am beautiful and smart and how to follow my heart. She died at 46 when I was 24 and I still re-read them to get a little mommy boost sometimes!

    • Oh, Melissa — This is lovely, sweet and heart-wrenching all at the same time. How wonderful that you have those letters from your mother…but how HARD that she was gone from your life so soon. Your comment makes me realize why I actually kept that letter to Addison, even though we all (obviously) arrived home safe and sound. Thank you for sharing…

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