Today I celebrate the day my life was changed forever. I am reminded that being a parent means a lot of the things, but one of them is this: the love I feel in my heart for my child is unconditional, uncontrollable, unbelievable and unbreakable. (Even when you ask me for a present that is absurd.) I see her for the girl she was, for the woman she is, and for the person she is yet to be. I know intimately all of her gifts, her flaws, her habits, her pet-peeves, and her strengths; and it fills my heart with pride.
I wrote my first-born this letter two years ago. Forgive me, but I feel the need to share it again today. (I will, of course, change her age. She'll kick my ass if I don't. She's bitchy like that.)
Twenty-two years ago today your entry into this world taught me the meaning of joy. I don’t think I can adequately describe that feeling in my heart when I first laid my eyes on you. I’ve learned so many more things from you since then.
I’ve learned how to laugh from deep down in my soul. I’ve laughed at you, I’ve laughed because of you, and of late - I’ve laughed with you.
I’ve learned the true meaning of fear, and the many faces fear has: the first STEP fear; the bicycle with no training wheels fear; the dealing with mean girls fear and the watching you enter middle school fear.
But, my darling, when you turned 16, you showed my heart the toughest meaning of fear. The kind of fear that creeps into a mother’s heart late at night and grips it so tightly it almost stops beating. I also learned to live with that fear, so that you could live your life, and make your own mistakes. (That was a tough one.) I've learned to harness that fear and turn it into hope.
You’ve also taught me that no matter how many mistakes I make, no matter how many times I embarrass you and no matter how many times I scream at you – you still love me. For that, I am most grateful.
And so, on this very special day, I want to tell you this. I loved the little girl who ran away from home to the backyard when I wouldn’t make her soup; I loved the little girl who in middle school got detention for spraying perfume on Jack Sprat; and I loved the young woman who in high school learned some tough, heartbreaking, valuable life lessons. You took them to heart and paved a new path for yourself – and that made me very, very proud.
Most importantly, I love you for who you are right now.
You are a part of my heart, my soul and my dreams. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Happy Birthday my darling Bitchy. I love you more than you will ever know. Well, except when you have a bitchy of your very own. Then you will know........only then.
The woman who apparently embarrasses you every chance she gets. And is @#*# proud of it.
(I'm also over here today- a little field trip with Frank, if you will.)