An Open Letter to My Daughter

Dear Meggie,

Today, when you were waving at us across the concourse at your college graduation, I was reminded of the day you were born. Blonde ringlets covered with my warm blood. Your tiny hands balled into fists as you wailed during your first breaths. You were so angry to be removed from the warm nest you’d been residing in for almost 10 months. They placed you on my swollen belly. I counted 10 fingers; 10 toes. Your blue eyes focused on me and I knew right then, the true meaning of unconditional love. I remember during labor, asking your father if he was proud of me. He said, “more than I have ever been in my life.”

After the doctors assessed your health, Daddy pulled you into his arms. I’ve never seen him so happy. He placed a bottle of glucose water to your lips. You pulled at the nipple and ate ravenously. That wasn’t the only day he fed you. Your father was a fantastic baby dad. Hell, he was and continues to be a great father.

When you were a few months old, I’d watch you sleep. Your eyelids were almost translucent, a blue vein displayed prominently across your nose. I’d see the blood course through it, while your lids fluttered during REM sleep. That perfect, tiny mouth of yours would instinctively move in a sucking motion. Sometimes you’d smile or make incoherent sounds. I was mesmerized by those little movements. Your cooing would create this stirring within my body. This primitive need to nurture and protect you, from everything that this big, bad world was going to dish out at you.

Years later when you were a teenager, I’d wander through the horribly litter strewn mess you called a bedroom just to catch a glimpse of you sleeping. The face was that of a young woman, but altogether childlike in slumber. Your eyelids, no longer translucent would still flutter during REM sleep, but there was no more of the prominent vein visible across your nose. Gone were the lips of a baby. They had been replaced with the full and ripe lips of a teenager that had a few years prior tasted her first kiss. No, you didn’t sleep the same as when you were a baby, but I was still mesmerized. Why is it we can watch our sleeping children at any age and still envision them as infants?

Your freshman year of high school was one of transition. I knew you didn’t need me that much anymore. It took awhile for me to realize you had a good head on your shoulders. I watched you interact with boys. Oh, how they adored you. The boy that I saw you with at that time was the handsome Merrill. I caught you sitting on his lap in the choir room. You jumped up, afraid that I would be upset about it. You had little to fear though, I was excited at the prospect of a boy as cute as him liking you. I was a little worried that he was a senior.

There would be many more boys that you liked. Many that would like you. I recall being jealous of your beauty and the ease with which boys gravitated to you. Like bees to honey. Or moths to an open flame. How could someone that looked just like me be so good with boys, when I struggled so? I grappled with that question for a long time. In your senior year, at Matthew’s graduation party you said, “Mom, you have to let go. This is my time now.” You were right, my time had passed. Whatever happened in my teenage years were long gone, and it was time for me to stop dwelling on them.

 So today, as I watched my baby, now 24 years old graduate from college, I realized you still wail, but in a classically trained voice. And in different languages. You still throw those balled fists in the air, but with purpose. With drive. You want to be a choir teacher and change the world one student at a time. All I ask is that you don’t become complacent or jaded. Stay the course, and live to your highest potential. Continue to breathe life into your surroundings. Never stop growing or changing.

I’m so very proud of you my daughter. You are my example of unconditional love. My Meggie, Megabucks, and Diva. You’re my everything.

Go ahead Girl, let that little light of yours shine.

Love,

Your Momma

 

**The quote at the beginning of the video was one that we had posted in our Tecumseh home for many years. Meggie and Adam knew they were brilliant, but they were to be humble in their pursuits.**

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We are NOT our Daughters, Our Daughters are NOT Us

A daughter is a mother’s gender partner, her closest ally in the family confederacy, an extension of her self.  ~Author Unknown

As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.  ~Oscar Wilde

When Meggie was a teenager, it was never my intention to live vicariously through her. Try as I might it did happen on more than one occasion though. It happened with competitive swimming, with music, with boyfriends. School work too, I’m sure. I saw her, this gorgeous and viable young woman. I wanted everything for her. I wanted her to do everything I didn’t when I was growing up. If she wanted to pursue a new endeavor, Roger Darling and I did our very best to ensure that she got the chance to do so.

She is such a beauty. She looks like Kate Hudson. I saw boys swarm around her like bees take to honey. I didn’t understand it. She looked exactly like me. Acted like me. How could it have been so easy for her to attract attention from young suitors, but I had to work hard for every boy that I wanted to date. Except for Roger Darling, that is. He was always a good one for me.

I never tried to push her to date a certain guy. Well, I take that back. I tried a couple of times. One was with her BFF, M. He’s one of my “other” sons. I love him like he’s mine. I guess he sorta is mine. Rog and I think of him as one of our family. He’s blonde, beautiful, and loves my girl like no other. But there was no more feelings  for her other than best friend love. And though it was hard for me to deal with, I had to let go of the hope that her true love would be her BFF, M.  He is going to be her Man of Honor at her wedding in December. I think that’s pretty damn cool. I don’t know what it is about she and I. We like being friends with dudes. I think it’s easier sometimes. Less hormones to deal with.

I did want her to date another guy, A. But only because I knew he was going to be rich when he was all grown up. They’re BFFs too. Now that he’s done with college he is well on his way to great success. Oh well, she’s found the love of her life, and he climbs and trims trees for a living.  The boy is super damn smart and looks like Eddie Vedder. He’s got a bright future ahead. I worry about her getting married at the age of 22, but she’s a determined sort. She’s like her momma in a lot of ways. God help her future husband. He’s in for a rough ride, that’s for sure.

I have found that Meg has done so much more in her life than I have. And she’s only 22. I told her just because she’s getting married, it doesn’t mean that she can stop pursuing life. She is to get her ass out there and hustle. Do what she wants before she has babies and settles down. Find hobbies, and do them. Travel, sing, write, hell, whatever she wants. Sometimes I want to be her. But then I have to remember that this is her time. My life is not hers, and her life is not mine. We must love and respect one another. And we do. I love that she has my free spirit. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She is an amazing young woman. She will continue to do great things.

Though I’m older than her, I’m still pursuing life. Trying new things. Becoming more me than I have been, in years. It’s partly because of her. Because of my girl. She’s taught me that it’s never too late. It’s never, ever too late.