Oh my precious daughter,
It seems like just yesterday that I was sitting in a hospital room and staring into your eyes for the very first time. All the visitors had gone home and most of the hallway had gone quiet, and suddenly there we were, just the two of us; mother and daughter. Looking at your sweet little face, the realization that I was now a mother was overwhelming me to where I didn’t even know what do with the intensity of the love that I was feeling for you.
I loved you.
It was a love that I had never felt before; a love that I couldn’t even have imagined existed. In an instant, I wanted to protect you from everything in the world that might ever hurt you, because you were just so perfect.
Perfect and amazing.
I knew, just by looking at you, that you were going to grow up and do great things, because even though I barely knew you, I already knew how wonderful you were.
But having a child that’s so amazing and wonderful … well, that was a lot of pressure for a new mom like me. I had a million fears of ways that I might fail you, and only two ways to promise you that I would try my best not to: that I would always love you and that I would never leave you. Everything else in the middle, we would have to figure out together.
And for a long time, we did. You came home, you started to grow, and I grew with you in my own mothering way. I didn’t have all the answers and neither did you, but together we were making it work. Every night I would sneak into your room, after a long day of learning how to grow you and you learning how to let yourself be grown — no matter what happened or what we had gone through — I’d whisper into your ear the only thing that I knew to be true: “You are amazing. You are precious, you are smart, and you are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently and don’t ever forget it because you are loved.”
I meant every single word.
But then your dad left and something changed in you.
The little girl that I knew, loved, and was working so hard to grow, her light dimmed. Broken in heartache and lost in grief, for the first time I started to see the girl that I knew to be amazing, start to wonder if she was ever really that special after all.
But you are.
Something bad happened, but oh baby, it had nothing to do with you. Your dad left, because he had problems. You were an unfortunate casualty in a life that wasn’t being lived right, and that had absolutely nothing to do with you. It kills me because I know that you are going to spend the rest of your life questioning his choice and forever doubting the answers that I give you. But baby, this was not your fault.
This had nothing to do with you.
It had everything to do with him and nothing to do with who you are, because if he had been able to see past his own issues, he would never have left. It’s kind of like the sun; the sun is amazing, and there is a reason that the entire world revolves around it; it keeps us alive. We need the sun! But sometimes, things cloud out our sun. Life gets in the way and we draw the curtains, stay inside, and begin to lose ourselves to the clouds in our lives. We can’t see the sun, and we begin to die. Not because the sun isn’t amazing, but because we aren’t letting the sunlight in.
Your dad didn’t leave because you aren’t amazing, he left because he had so many clouds in his life that he could no longer see the sun. He didn’t leave because he didn’t want to see you, he left because he couldn’t see you.
He didn’t leave to live, he left because he was dying.
He had too many problems that had absolutely nothing to do with you, and never will have anything to do with you, but as a parent, he failed; because he failed you.
I’ve watched you since he left, bouncing from person to person, hoping to find something that you should have found in your dad — something he should have taught you to find in yourself — and that scares me. It scares me more than the millions of fears that I felt the first time that I looked into your eyes, because I know for certain that this is one problem that I cannot fix.
I can’t bring him back.
But baby, although I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know exactly what to do, when I look into your eyes I see the same little girl that I held in my arms years ago, and so I’ve continued to make the same promise that I made all those years ago:
I love you and I will never leave you.
I will never leave you.
Stick with me on this one, and we will get through it together. Stay with me even when you feel like shoving me away, and I’ll help you see the light that you sometimes don’t let shine anymore. Wake up with me in the morning and let me tuck you in at night, and in the middle, we’ll figure everything else out together.
I’ll teach you how to let the right people love you, and together we will learn when it’s time to let the wrong ones go.
You are worth so more than what your father did to you, and if I have to spend the rest of my life proving that to you, then I will, because I promised you that I will never leave you, and I won’t.
That is how you learn to love the people that you can trust.
So please baby, believe me when I say that you are worth more than you know, and the people who are worthy of loving you, are the people who will help you see your worth.
You are worth a lot.
I’m here, and I see your light. There is a reason that the entire world revolves around the sun, and there is a reason that most of my life revolves around you.
You are amazing, you are precious, you are smart, and you are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently and don’t ever forget it because you are loved.
Forever and always, you will be loved.