Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Letter To My Daughter On Her 14th Birthday


Dear CB,
How is it that you are 14 all of a sudden when just yesterday I was smelling your baby smell, laughing at your tiny legs that stayed scrunched up as if you were still cramped up in utereo and the folds like a 90 year old woman on your fragile little neck? Wasn't I just staring into your tiny eyes, before they could focus on anything but the top of my head... before they changed from the navy blue of your underwater world to the pale blue of a cloudless sky? I could fit your head, like the softest most fragile little peach, in my palm and hold you with one arm. Your pinky toe could be pondered for hours upon hours. Your baby scent made me drunk.

You sprouted over night into the gazelle-like teen you are today, almost my own height now. Gawky, non-chalant, all legs and pointy elbows, and prone to overindulge in sleep and junk food like many other teens. But in every other way, you are not the typical teen. There are no friends. No dates. No gabbing on the phone. No ipods plugged in the ears at dinner. No homework. No eye rolling. No dreaded "sex talk." No limit pushing. No TV watching. No begging for a cell phone. We're not following "The Book" on this one, are we? But we're figuring it all out together. Like always.

You were the one who made me a Mom. Though things have changed a great deal over the past 14 years, we're still a special little team, aren't we? You've been through a lot, little princess. Hundreds and hundreds of seizures and several hospitalizations, procedures, and testing. You had to "get to work" long before other kids your age... therapies at age 2, and getting on the school bus 5 days a week when you turned 3. Learning things that come a bit easier to your peers. I know it's been hard for you. You've always been a trooper.

We've also been through family changes. You've had to leave your father, whom I know you love dearly, when he and I couldn't stay together anymore. We moved to several different places... changing your school a few times, and moving your bedroom again and again. I always painted it the same color and arranged the furniture in the same way so it would be easier on you. You never griped. You always adjusted. You were with me during my most lonely times. For several Christmas's it was just you and me. I know you didn't care about Christmas, but you were always MY gift. I put up a tree each year for you. For me. For some semblance of a family in those lonely years.

Our family has grown so much since those times. You watched me get happy again and welcomed a new step-dad and three new sisters. I never knew what you thought about all this. I hope you are happy. I hope you are as happy as you make me. I hope I can give to you all the amazing gifts you have given to me. There are 2 people walking this planet that have made me a better person. You and your step-dad. I owe you two everything. It will never be able to be repaid. But you and he have my undying love and gratitude.

So, here's to you on your birthday! Mac and cheese, coke, and french fries and you are happy. A walk with your sisters around the block, and you are happy. I sing you your lullaby - Golden Slumbers by the Beatles- and you are happy. I've sung it to you since the day you were born. Fourteen years of Golden Slumbers. And every time I sing it, you smile like it's the first time.

Happy Birthday CB. I love you, buddy. I pray you know how much.

Love,
Mom

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Happy Birthday to your girl. This made me cry -- I had no idea that you had a girl like my Sophie. She looks beautiful and you must know that she does hear you and knows that you love her. And she loves you, on that deepest of levels that is the main thing that sustains us. Many blessings to you both...

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Oh, she's gorgeous! And what a lovely letter to her. Best wishes!

michelle said...

Beautiful post. Happy Birthday to you both

Queenbuv3 said...

My son turned 11 today and we had a birthday party for him yesterday. Where does the time go? My son has also changed me for the better in so many ways that he will never know.

Happy Birthday to your daughter!

Claire said...

Just crying my eyes out. A beautiful girl, a fabulous mom.

Chrissy said...

You've made me cry once again.

Your daughter is beautiful. Happy Birthday CB! Thank you for sharing this.

Smiling Mama said...

How beautiful! You had me crying.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

elk said...

it is obvious that you are an amazing mother ...blessings to you on this special day!
...
elk

rhemashope said...

Beautiful. You and your darling girl. Happy Belated Birthday, CB.

Jade, Mike, and Gabe said...

That made me cry as well. What a beautiful letter for a beautiful girl! SHE knows how much you lover her, even if she can't tell you! Our kids change us for the better! My son has taught me more about life then I've taught him! God bless!

Mama Deb said...

I really enjoyed reading this. I have a special lullaby for my little guy, too..."River's Lullaby" from the Disney film 'Prince of Egypt.'
Sometimes I cry when I sing it to him, but I sing it anyway :)

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