It’s 6:20 am on 1/25/18. 6 years ago my Dr.s were rushing me into the operating room to pull you from my body. After 36 hours of labor, you started showing signs of distress. Your little heart wasn’t beating fast enough. It turned out that the umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck three times and every time I tried to push you down and out, you were being strangled. You survived of course. One hour later you came into this big scary world and into my arms, but I often wonder if that traumatic birth has had any influence over how you experience life today. And I wish I could always hold you in my arms and protect you like I did that day 6 years ago. You’ve stolen my heart, little one and I have never been the same. I feel what you feel. I ache when you ache. And the joy you experience and bring to this world, is also my joy. It’s true, unconditional, scary and beautiful love and today my heart is full.
I’m am so proud of who you are. You’re an exceptional little human with more empathy than 90% of adults. You always remind me when I’m about to swat a fly, to stop. That you love “all living things”. I wish I shared this sentiment. You cried once in preschool because your teacher squashed a love bug (boxelder). You love to plant seeds and watch them grow. You like to make everything beautiful. Your favorite thing to do these days is laundry and you’ve kept all of our family’s clothes clean since I taught you how to use the washing machine. You’ve also kept our floors shiny by scrubbing them once a week. I don’t ask these things of you, you just love to help your mama and you like things to be perfect. You give care and attention to everything around you.
My wish for you this year is that you will give the same tenderness and care to yourself. I’m wishing for you to see that perfection is an illusion. Mistakes are lessons. And being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to your sister. I want you to see your caution as wisdom and not be ashamed of being shy. I want you to recognize your tears as healing. Stay open with your feelings and thoughts and never be ashamed to share them with me. I know you. And I love you. You are extremely intuitive and have strong instincts. Listen to these always and do the right thing. Take risks when you know they will bring you pride and stay away from the things that make your tummy squirm. You don’t need a lot of friends. You need good ones. Choose to be close to those who you feel safe with–friends who you can be silly with, but who you can also say “no thanks” to. I can’t hold you in my arms forever and keep watch over you like I could when you were a newborn. But I can tell you this–Emotions are real. Everybody hurts. Everybody experiences joy. What goes up, must come down–but when you’re down, know that there is a peak ahead. And remember that when you feel lost and alone you can still crawl up on my lap like you’ve always done with those big brown searching eyes and say “help me”, and I will love you through anything.
Today you are six. You’ve got some teeth to lose, some trees to climb and many beautiful things to create. You are a kind, sensitive, beautiful brave girl. Stay true to the voice inside you and you will forever shine, little moon.
“Love the one in you who is sad. Love the one in you who is scared. Love the one in you who is angry. Love the one in you who is lonely. Love the one in you who hates herself. Love ALL the ones who you are, and then you will know how to love the world.” Elizabeth Gilbert