I’ve lied to you, I’ve fed you fast food, I’ve yelled at you, I’ve punished you, I’ve grounded you, I’ve put your most treasured possessions in time out, and I’ve forced you to try foods I don’t even like. BUT. I’ve also snuck into your room at night to watch you sleep, I’ve sacrificed entire evenings planning out elaborate surprises for you, I’ve taken you to some of my most favorite places, and I’ve taught you to appreciate differences and embrace change.
You are a happy little human and your effervescent spirit is alive and well inside of you. It has become harder and harder to impress you, I’d like to think it’s because you’re older and wiser but I promise you that I’ll never give up trying to amaze you. I never know when you’re listening to me or if you’re listening to me at all, so I just keep talking. I keep trying to explain things about the world that I’ve learned along the way. My mom did the same thing. She’d even have books on tape cued to the exact thing she wanted to subliminally plant into my head, I was totally onto her.
I like it when you try new things without fighting me. I like it even more when you realize I was right. I like it when you try to cheer me up. I like it when you laugh so hard you go silent and start squealing. I like that you’re more of an experience than a person, that you head into everything you do headfirst and with reckless abandon. All this focus and attention has been given to how much your baby sister has grown over the last year, but today I took a good look at how much YOU have grown over the last year. Nothing makes a kid look not so little anymore than when teeth start falling out of their head. You’re six teeth down and six teeth closer to a mouth full of grown up teeth. I don’t want to admit it, but even your shape is changing. You’re less little girl and more young woman. Seriously. This all needs to stop. It’s out of control.
I HAVE A SEVEN YEAR OLD.
That’s what old grown up people have, not people like me.
When did I move from a miss to a ma’am? At some point I began looking more like a high school teacher than a high school student. When did that happen? Imperceptibly I guess, the same way you went from little girl to…well, what you are today. Still little, but so big.
I’m trying so hard not to screw up. All my friends say the same thing. We love you guys so fiercely and yet we’re scared to death our love will somehow screw you up.
I’ve gotten pretty nostalgic knowing tomorrow is my last day at Babble Kids, new opportunities have come up and I guess the legacy (if there is such a thing) I want to leave behind is that I’m not perfect, but I’m trying. I think we all are. And sometimes hearing someone else admit it out loud takes the weight off your shoulders just a little bit. Love your body, love what it can do. Love others with your whole heart until they give you a reason not to, even then forgive them. No good has ever come from holding a grudge. Rely on your parents, we’ve got you no matter what. If you decide to give me grand babies one day? Thanks. I hope I’m a good grandma, I already know you have a boundless capacity in you to love which will serve you well as a mom.
I love you. Lots.