To My Daughter

I wrote this on Monday morning after I took my children to school. This is my oldest daughter's last year in school before she will head to college.....ever aware of her fear of the future, I did my best to not reveal how I felt inside over her last year of high school.....but after being inspired by this from my friend T, I thought maybe, well....that I would go ahead and publish it.


I did not know what I was having when I was pregnant with you....I didn't want to know. The miracle that you were was enough for me, I found comfort in knowing that you were just there, often when I was all alone.......I was overwhelmed when the doctor said "it's a girl." I cried......I still do when I think about it.

I am not sure when you got to be so beautiful....was it when you first cried, back when it was just you and me kid? Were you always so inquisitive? So full of questions? You walked early, talked early, got teeth early....so ready to just get on with it, you began growing up before I realized it was possible. Do you remember when I knew you could read? What the first word you read aloud to me was? It was Donut, we were driving....and you told me you wanted one....I laughed out loud and turned around and got it for you....you were five.
Do you remember how you used to repeat everything I would say....often using the same colorful adjectives......I was apalled, but everyone else thought you were so cute.....

Your eyes always took in so much and were always the first thing anyone ever noticed about you.....so blue, so big......so beautiful, they still are, followed by your beautiful smile. You were the wind beneath my wings when I was just discovering how to be an adult.....the one thing that brought me out of the dark days of a war....did I ever tell you that?

How did you get to be almost 18 years old and graduating this year? I look back at photos and videos of you growing up. How proud I have always been of how you gracefully eased through all that life through at you.....the loss you experienced, the pain you went through and even coming close to losing one of your closest family members, not once did you fall......but then I have always been there in case you did.

As I looked at you this morning, my heart filled with so much, I hardly knew where to begin and so I was pretty quiet......you twirled around like you used to when you were little, looked over your shoulder at me and said, "Hey Mom, it's my last first day." It was all I could do to not let you see the tears as they welled up in my eyes.....when did you get to be so grown up, where is my little girl....with the bright inquisitive blue eyes and giggles when I held her....she has been replaced with this stunning creature I sometimes hardly recognize.....did I miss your life? I know I was there.....but being your mother has never once been hard, so maybe that is why you seem to have grown up in the blink of an eye.

Those hard days, the ones that stand out in my mind, the ones you rose above and showed what kind of resolve you had in you......the day I took you and your sister's cell phones away to make sure I was the one to tell you about your friend dying and then you held your little sister, the day the war came home to us, the day your friend at school didn't wake up.....through glasses and braces and disappointments you took life in stride, never once turning away from me. You knew I was there for you and you always sought the solace and safety of my arms, knowing that I'd make everything alright.

But now, I think you know that it's time to spread your wings, to find where your place in the world is, to discover where this last year of high school will find you.....ever knowing that I am always going to be Mommy, even on the day you become a mother yourself. I love you with all my heart, my love, my firstborn, my beautiful grown up daughter. I will always be proud to be you mom, privileged to have you in my life, thanked God every day for you, even before you were officially you, but as you grow up, I am excited about being your friend....