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Gabi

Gabi, birthday, ballet, recital, turning 7, birthday, love letter, love letter to my 7-year-old, love letter to my child

Today, I wrote a love letter to my daughter on her 7th birthday. My Gabi, my last baby turns 7-years-old. She is sort of amazing. I look at her and I can’t believe how much she has changed in 7 short years. She is nowhere near the chubby, 8 pounds 6 ounces, full head of black curly hair baby that I delivered who looked up with those giant big blue eyes and melted my heart. She stopped me in my tracks. That baby girl took my breath away and stole my heart forever. My love for my girls is immeasurable. Every year I try to quantify it for them in some way in a post, a love letter to my child, but it always falls short because how can you express the true meaning of to the moon and back plus infinity with all that I am or will ever be? It’s the kind of all-consuming love that hurts.

READ ALSO: Love Letter to my Five year-old

Today, the tall, waif-thin little girl with scraped knees and long flowing strawberry blonde hair with those same big blue eyes that make my heart happy is constantly changing. The freckles that kiss the tops of her cheeks beg me to kiss them and commit them to memory because at this moment, I know, she is changing, evolving, every single second. I breathe in deep and I inhale this moment, this child that she is right this minute. This same child who runs hot and cold at all times, the one who is so passionate about her convictions that sometimes she gets in her own way. How I adore her verve for life.

This is my love letter for your 7th year.

Gabs,

You came into my world and have been my happiness ever since. Your smiles soothe me, your tears tear me down and your sadness destroys me. Your laughter is contagious and infectious and can heal the world. On this 7th anniversary of the day you were born, my beautiful, amazing girl, I wish you a lifetime of the same wholehearted, all in love that you give to others.

 

Gabi, birthday, ballet, recital, turning 7, birthday, love letter, love letter to my 7-year-old, love letter to my child

You are moody and broody and artistic and funny and vibrant and in total living Technicolor. You are a rainbow and a unicorn and all that the world has to offer that is good. You are shy and that scares me because the thought of you feeling unsure breaks my heart because I can’t fix this for you. But I am here, for today and for always, to hold your hand, to wipe away the tears and yes, to kick anyone’s ass my mama bear heart needs to. You drive me crazy with your independence when it’s in direct opposition to my plan but, inside, I am so proud of you for standing your ground.

READ ALSO: Love Letter to My Tween

I love that you stick up for what you believe in and for the underdog. I love your stubbornness and your follow through. I love that your heart compels you to get involved when you see a homeless person, sick person or a sad child. I love you for being exactly who you are and I would never change a thing about that. You are the perfect you in every way.

 

Gabi, birthday, ballet, recital, turning 7, birthday, love letter, love letter to my 7-year-old, love letter to my child

 

I celebrate you and all that you have become today and I celebrate the day that I met one of the most amazing people that I’ve ever known. I wish you a lifetime of love and acceptance of yourself, I want you to see and love yourself the way I see you; perfect, just the way you are.

 

Gabi, birthday, ballet, recital, turning 7, birthday, love letter, love letter to my 7-year-old, love letter to my child

Happiest 7th Birthday, my sweet baby girl, with the giant heart. Mommy loves you to the moon and back plus infinity and beyond. Oops, gotta go kiss someone, it’s her birth minute.

XOXO

When was the last time you wrote a real, handwritten love letter?

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Gabi, birthday, Oklahoma, tornadoIt feels weird to be celebrating in light of the terrible Oklahoma tornado tragedy. I feel guilty. How can I be happy and celebrating my child’s birthday when so many mothers  will never get to celebrate another birthday with their child? But how can I not, today more than ever. My heart is full of gratitude for all that I have. This month especially, I cling to my blessings.

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letting go, walking away, preschool

Letting go and giving up are two things that do not come easily to me. I am not built that way, especially where my girls are concerned. Yes, I give in to them almost on a daily basis but I’m talking about giving into the belief that they are not capable of anything they want or set their minds to. The letting go, I will never get any better at the letting go. But the two seem to go hand in hand.

In order for them to build confidence in themselves to know they can be and do anything, I have to remove the training wheels from the situation. The training wheels would be me. The letting go is painful. For me, letting go is the hardest part of parenting. I have proof of this, as I sat in my car in the parking lot of the preschool this morning and cried as the rain poured down all around me. It’s as if heaven itself was heartbroken or maybe that was just me.

READ ALSO: Kindergarten, the beginning of the end

It physically hurts my heart to walk away from my children. I now know that I could never home school because if I did when they left for college, the letting go would literally kill me. I’d be dead on the spot. I need these tiny occasions of letting go to prep me for the big ones, like college and marriage. We raise our children to leave us. This is the earmark of a good parent. The pain and guilt we feel when we leave our babies behind or don’t measure up to our impossible standards of parenting are a true sign of a good parent.

 

letting go, growing up, back-to-school

It’s all fun and games…

 Letting go may look easy from the outside

This morning, Gabs woke up and practically sprung from the bed, but only after doing a little horizontal happy dance while screaming ” It’s my first day of COOL!” (she still has problems with those S’ but how I love her little baby talk. I savor it like fine wine.) This same morning the lump in my throat was so big, I thought it would choke me to death. We did our mandatory photo ops and the first day of school breakfast. After a pep talk from her big sis, Gabs was waiting with her coat and backpack on, 20 minutes before we had to leave the house.

READ ALSO: All Dogs go to Heaven and all kid go to Kindergarten

The Big Guy drove to drop off as I sat in introspective silence. My heart was tearing away from my chest in slow painful beats. The girls were giggling and excitedly talking a million miles a minute. My heart was swelling with pride in their independence. My head was spinning and it was everything I could do not to blink, so the tears didn’t make their way to the surface and splash out of my lids revealing my secret. I knew this would be difficult but I hadn’t anticipated the magnitude of the hurt.

 

letting go, walking away, preschool

..Until….

but letting go of your baby is the most difficult thing you will ever do

I made idle chit chat with the other parents to try and find some repose from the pain that the lump in my throat was causing in my heart. My words were met with the nervous laughter of mothers about to lose their shit and collapse into collective pools of snot and tears, just beyond the preschool door. I busied myself snapping photos to commemorate the momentous occasion but that damn lump in my throat just kept growing and growing. It was so big that I felt as if it would swallow me whole at any moment.

READ ALSO: Letting Go Hurts like Mother

I stood there watching the whole thing take place but I was helplessly paralyzed. I wanted to run to her and scoop her up and take her home with me but I couldn’t. I had to walk away. I have a firm, never let them see me cry when dropping them off policy. I can’t. If I do, they will feel unsafe. They will wonder ” Where the hell ( yes, I am sure my kids curse in their own minds) is she leaving me? Is she coming back? Why’s she crying? It must be dangerous! Mommy! Come back!I’ll be good!!!”

The Big Guy was the one to make the decision that it was time to leave. Someone had to force me, I’m sure if he hadn’t I would have stood there frozen like a heartbroken statue for the rest of the day. I won’t lie. I was angry that he was making me leave. Who the hell did he think he was? This. is. MY.BABY!! I watched as he walked over to her and gently hugged and kissed her goodbye, with an “I love you” and “We’ll be back soon.” My eyes were stinging. I snapped photos.

READ ALSO: The First Day of High School was Harder than the Kindergarten

Then I swallowed hard, took a deep breath and held my baby girl in my arms before I left her for the very first time. I gave her a thousand kisses and told her how proud I was of her, how much fun she would have and how much I loved her. Then I turned and as if in slow motion, walked away, looking back over my shoulder to drink in the face of my beautiful little girl. I was blinded by the tears that were filling my vision.

She looked unsure but excited, as I suspect we all look at those very important days of our lives… first days, your wedding day, the day you give birth to your own child. Beginnings are exciting, goodbyes are sad but the in-between is where all the living takes place. I swallowed harder than I’ve ever swallowed before to hold back that gargantuan lump in my throat, for fear that the next breath could bring a flood of tears and Mommy blubbering.

letting go, growing up, back-to-school, daddies, daughters

Letting Go ~The Hardest Part is the First Step of Walking Away

 

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