Monday, January 17, 2011


Hello, you. Yes, you. My Cinderella-fairy-princess who always wants to dress herself.

Do you know that three years ago today you blessed us more than you could ever possibly imagine by entering our lives and our hearts? I know it's hard for you to believe there was ever a time before you. You always look confused when daddy and I reminisce over our travel stories and we explain that that's from before you were born.

You. You are my daughter.

I didn't always call you my daughter. For a long time you were my baby. Then you were my toddler, and my little girl. But sometime this past year, your dad and I started calling you "daughter." And I'm not sure why, but that word holds a special place in your heart, because you beam so bright whenever we use it, especially when daddy leans in with the smile he saves just for you and says, "You're my daughter."

I want you to know that you are growing up too fast. How can I possibly capture and store all the moments you bless us with? Try as I might, I simply cannot memorize them all. I remember last spring, when you mostly skipped an entire size of clothing, and I just kept right on buying you clothes that were just a little too little... because I could not come to grips with how fast you were growing and how much I already felt you slipping out of my hands. Two felt more like twenty, and although I tried to hide it, this momma's heart was breaking.

Me and you. The push and pull of the mother-daughter relationship. I feel it already, sweetheart. The fierce independence that both awes me and frightens me competes with and often dominates over your need for mommy love. And I struggle, already, yes I do, to know when to fight you, when to pull you into my arms, like it or not, and when to let you go. You and me, we love with a fierce love, and it's not always an easy love, is it? Sometimes we push away the ones we love most. Lucky for us, the keepers always come back. And I will always be here. And I will always come back.

I am afraid, Kaiya, that some of life's lessons will come to you hard. You have a strong fighter in you. I know it, and I love it. After all, I know where you got it from. And I know that sometimes you're going to fight harder and longer for things that just need to be let. go. But what do I know? ;)

But oh, you. Your fighter is somehow a sensitive fighter. As I said last year, you know who your peeps are, and you love them fiercely. Your sensitivity sometimes overwhelms me, and I'm aware of you reading our moods, and I want to tell you, over and over and over again, "There are no eggshells here. This is solid ground. You focus on being a KID." And I don't want you to be limited by what mom and dad are comfortable with. I will always be overprotective. But please don't worry about me.

I want you to fly.

Some days my face almost explodes I'm beaming so much at you. Like tonight when you pointed out all the "s's" to us on the wall at Swiss Chalet. In those moments, I feel a pride unknown to me before you came along. Other days, you challenge me to no end, arguing from the get-go... what to wear, what to eat, what to play, how to play... and I find myself counting to ten umpteen times per day. Still other times, your sweetness is crushing. A solemn "I love you, mom," a soft kiss, a bear hug. Your affection surprises me. You've even started closing your eyes when you kiss me!

I love you, and I am proud of you, daughter. I love your strong personality, the mix of spunk and sweet. The giddy giggle, the little girl voice you suddenly developed out of nowhere. You are going to keep surprising all of us, I know you will. And I'll be beaming from the sidelines, every step of the way.

Happy birthday.


Rose said...

Kathy, does your blog have a kleenex dispenser somewhere?

Suzanne said...

Amazing.Truly Amazing.

Anonymous said...

You are the writer in the fam....well done
Love you
your older sis