I’ve been there from the beginning. I was there for your first breath and I remember the first time you opened those little eyes. The world was big but I knew that you were going to make it yours in your very own way. I believed in you because I knew you were strong. I was there for all of those firsts. The first steps, the potty training, the first bite of ice cream. I watched you walk and then fall just to get back up and do it again and I just thought, that’s my girl, I was so proud.
You grew up so fast. One minute you were being buckled into a high chair and the next mom was reminding you to buckle your seatbelt before you drove away. I feel like time just went even faster after that. You were such a happy girl. I can still see you laughing so hard you cried. Your music was always so loud but somehow you sang even louder, no matter who was around to hear it. I remember your first prom, the day you bought your first car, your wedding and the birth of each of your children, you were glowing. We’ve done everything together from bliss to trauma. I never saw a day that we didn’t 100% share this crazy thing called life, but eventually, that day came.
I left you. I expected you to find confidence, love, and acceptance through others. I thought that you would find joy in the passions of those around you. I figured that you were capable of creating relationships that would keep you strong, happy and healthy. I never should have left. You did build relationships. You shined so brightly when others were watching. You laughed so loud when others could hear you. It wasn’t those times though that made me realize that I was wrong leaving you in the hands of others. It was the moments when you were alone. It was the things that you said to yourself when you couldn’t fit in that pre-baby pair of jeans. It was how you talked to yourself when the dinner you made burnt and how you felt like a failure as you just stood and stared at the mess around you after everyone else had fallen asleep. It was the tears I watched you shed because you wanted to be more than you are when what you are is more than enough. I was the frustration I saw when your goals felt impossible and the way you took it out on yourself because you should have worked harder when we both know you were giving it all you had. Those were the things that made me realize that it was me all along who should have protected you and kept you safe.
I should have told you every day how beautiful you were and how capable you were of doing hard things. If you didn’t know how proud of you I was, it was my fault because I didn’t tell you nearly enough. On the days that you didn’t feel important or loved I should have been there. I should have stuck around to remind you that it was okay for you to invest time in yourself because you were something special. When you lost yourself and forgot who you were along the way, it was me who failed you. I should have loved you in the way that you deserved, up close and personal. I should never have taken a back seat and loved you from a distance while I watched you try to find happiness in others and how they saw you.
Nothing I can say will ever make up for lost time, but for what is worth, there are a few things I need you to know. You are beautiful. You are important. You can carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You were meant to love as hard as you do even though it can hurt so much sometimes. Someday you can fit in those pants if you want to because you can accomplish anything, but I promise that you’re perfect just the way that you are. The goals that you’ve set for yourself can seem impossible but you’ve been falling down and standing right back up for as long as I can remember, it doesn’t make sense to stop now. I am so proud of the person that you’ve become. Do something for you today, you need it. Those nights that you lay down and think, today was hard, always remember that hard is where you grow stronger. What you say to yourself when you look in the mirror will stay with you forever, choose nice things. This life that you live is yours, filled with your choices and your reactions to what it gives you. I’m never going to leave you to do this alone again. No more relying on everyone else to help you be who you want to be, from now on, I’m your girl.
Oh, and one more thing, I love you more than you will ever know.