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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Letter to My Daughters

Dear Lindsay and Hannah,
As I am writing this, you are 8 and 4 years old. Because of you, ponies, kitties, babydolls, and fairy wings litter our house. There are things in the closet that are pink, and sparkle. I find myself doing things I never thought I would, like making bows and researching hairstyles. I went to my first tea party ever last year.

I was never the girly-girl type. Even now, I'm still not. For you though, I try. My two little ladies who don't mind getting dirty. You are such a wonderful mix of soft femininity and rugged tomboy. Outside you play baseball with your brothers, and dig for worms in the dirt, and then you come inside and don princess gowns and create a world full of magic and unicorns. It has a magic of its own, to watch the two of you and your ability to do this.

The two of you have much in common, but you have differences too. Differences that make me love you even more. Lindsay, melodramatic girl with the big heart. You always seem to be singing, putting on concerts for our little family, or playing outside, belting out whatever song your mind is creating at the top of your lungs. You haven't learned yet to care what others think about this. My hope is that you never do. You love to perform, and do it with such a confidence and grace I envy. I was a musician for years, and I never was able to overcome the fear. My hands shook through every performance. You, when I asked you before your first piano recital if you were nervous, answered simply "No." And you meant it. In that moment, I knew you were better than me, and I delighted in that.

And Hannah, my mischievous, fun-loving girl. I see myself in you so much. I apologize now, but you will be hearing about how much you look like me throughout your whole childhood, because it is true. We share some personality traits too. You are shy with strangers, like I can be. My own mom told me once that I was a "free spirit" and I can very much see that in you, as well. You are so playful and happy that it's hard to stay mad at you. I hope you are able to hold on to that inherent joy that seems to be within you. The world can be a place that tries to rip that from you, so hold on to it tightly. You are in a rough place, being the youngest of four, but you do well in it. You are a tough cookie, and I've even seen your tiny four year old frame knock down your not so tiny oldest brother.

I am going to say something here that the two of you might not believe. I don't think I would have believed it either if my mom had told me something similar. It's the truth though, and here it is. You, my daughters, are the most beautiful things I've ever seen. How you even came from me, I will never know. There are times when I watch you sleep, and I am in awe. You are perfect. This can be a cruel world, and inevitably you will run across someone who will try to tell you that you are not. They will try to convince you that you are lacking, somehow. That you are not good enough. I see how shallow our society can be, and it takes my breath away. I feel anxious about whether or not I will be able to teach you to believe you are beautiful. Inside and out, you are amazing creatures, and anyone who tells you differently isn't worth the dirt on your shoes.

I try to tell you every day, and I know some days it doesn't happen, but I love you. I love you both, differently and equally. I am humbled by the opportunity to be your mother. To be the one that gets to guide you on your journey growing into women. I treasure these days, where walking down the hallway I'm apt to trip over a glittery shoe. I look forward to your futures with a bittersweet happiness. I am excited to see the women you will become, but I know I will miss the ponies, and pink and sparkly things hanging in the closet. I will miss being able to keep you under my wings where you will be safe. I tell you this not to make you fell bad, but just to explain that why, on the day you fly from the nest, underneath the joy and pride on my face will be a hint of sadness. A sadness that you probably will not understand until you have your own children.

Right now the two of you are asleep. I will wrap up this letter and go kiss your sweet little heads. Tomorrow is another day, full of magic with you, and I intend to enjoy it. Sleep well, my beautiful princesses.

Forever grateful to be yours,


Jim said...

There's no need to miss the ponies - remember, Morgann still has hers! :)

Well done! Brought a tear to their Grandpa's eye.

The Mrs. said...

What a beautiful letter to your girls, Meghann. This will treasure this letter from you!

Margie said...

meghann, i so needed to read this today. thank you.

Michelle said...

IT's a perfect letter to your girls and I love it! They are so lucky to have you as their mama!