When you were little you were a force to be reckoned with. I never had to worry that you wouldn’t find your voice because you were born with a very healthy set of lungs. In the beginning when I would babysit you and you screamed at night, because I couldn’t call the sound you made crying, I would sit you in your car seat on my Dad’s office chair and spin you in circles. Something about the motion calmed you.
When you would sleep, you would lie perfectly still, with your little hands in fists, and most of the time you slept on my chest right over my heart. You didn’t want to lay any place else and If I tried to move you, you would wake up, and the screaming would begin. I like to think you were comforted by the sound of my beating heart. I want you to know those quiet moments were some of the best in my life. Because somehow I knew, that you knew, that you were safe with me.
As the months went by and your personality developed so did your smile. I savored every moment that you directed that smile at me. Your entire face would transform and your eyes would sparkle. Your smile was and is a simple reflection of the love you have for those in your life and to this day at the age of eight that is still one of my favorite things about you.
When you got old enough to understand words and put them together there was no stopping what you would say and when. I even remember a day when your Dad and I had taken you to the mall. We went into a shoe store and as your Dad was waiting in line to buy his shoes you picked that moment to scream out “Stranger Danger!” Something we had been teaching you in the event that you were ever taken. You thought you were so cute with that one. But you know something? You remind me of myself a little bit with how quickly you pour words out of your mouth. It’s as if you can’t get what you’re thinking out quick enough. I have those moments too.
There are thousands of memories I could retell and millions of moments in your life that I’ll never forget, but what I cherish more than anything (now that your old enough to have meaningful conversations) is how you seem comfortable talking with me. You never shy away from answering questions I have for you or telling me what others might have said to you. You know in some silent telepathic way that I will always have your back. And I will always be honest with you.
That’s why I can honestly say that you have been one of the biggest highlights of my life. You brought a deeper love to my life that I didn’t think would be possible. When you hurt. I hurt. When you’re sad. I’m sad. When you’re excited I find myself getting excited right along with you. Your laugh is contagious, your spirit is remarkable, but your love is spectacular. A love that you give out so freely and effortlessly. You remind me of the good in the world. You remind me that innocence is something to protect and embrace. That adults could use more of it.
My vow to you is this:
- I will do my best to be at any school activities or athletics that you choose to involve yourself in as long as you want me there.
- I will help you with your homework if you choose to ask me to, but be patient with me as I may be a little rusty.
- When you do decide to date I will give the girls/women you bring around the benefit of the doubt and will not be judgmental. However, I cannot promise I will not interrogate them.
- I will stand by and support any and all decisions that you make in your life even if we do not agree on them.
- I will do my best to give you advice when you ask for it and sometimes when you don’t.
- If you need my help talking with your parents about subjects that you are uncomfortable with I promise to sit right by your side.
- When you start to drive, if you need an instructor because your parents might be driving you a bit crazy (don’t worry we all go through it), I’m your gal.
- I will celebrate every accomplishment with you and I will help you navigate every failure.
- I will be at every birthday party, graduation, wedding, and when the times come the birth of your child.
- I will lend my ear when you just want to vent, my shoulder when you need to cry, and my strength when you feel as if your world is crumbling.
- My home is your home. It will be your safe harbor where you can weather your storms.
- I promise to protect you. To cherish you. And to love you as long as I am alive.
And when the day comes that I am no longer physically a part of your world, know that even if you cannot see me, I am walking step by step beside you.