Sometimes I worry that I'm not a good enough mother for you, that you deserve someone better. Someone that is fluent in several languages, and can stay home with you, and never raises her voice or tells you "NO NO." But then you step too close to railing, or I remember that I didn't lock the front door when I left you and daddy at home sleeping sweetly on my 4:00 am drive to the airport and a wave of terror passes over me that tells me, I am a good mom. I would do anything in this world to keep you safe, happy, healthy. I would cut off my legs if it would mean you would never be in pain or danger. I will never be disappointed in you for what you are. Maybe in some of the choices you make, but never in YOU. I will continue to love you this fiercely, this sweetly, forever. Who you love, your faith, your politics (even if you're the most Conservative of Conservatives... Lord help me!) are yours, and not mine. You are the reason that I care that all couples have the freedom to marry. You are the reason that I care that everyone have access to good, affordable health care. You are the reason that I want more legislature for good schools and gun control.
I try so hard not to worry too much. I don't want you to be fearful, so I can't appear to be. When you fall, my heart skips a beat. I want to rush to you, to cry out. But instead, I stay where I am, and say "Uh oh!" and you happily get up and continue on your way. I drive so much more cautiously with you in the car. I don't care if people fly around me because I am going the speed limit... I don't care if I'm a few minutes late. I am carrying Precious Cargo, and that is more important than a stranger flipping me the bird (don't ever do that, it's so classless) or arriving on time. I am trying to eat healthier, and exercise to be a good example to you, and not pass on my body phobias and insecurities.
You are at such a sweet age. You love me, you love your daddy, you love balls and your Cozy Coupe. You are funny and happy and healthy. You are just independent enough without completely breaking my heart... yet. Right now, you love to be with me. Right now, Daddy and I are your favorite people. I know that won't always be the case. When I dropped you off this morning at school, after a week of not being there, you happily trotted in and told me "Bye!" before I was ready to go. I know that is a testament to your security... to feeling safe at home and at school. But I'm not ready for you to be SO ready for me to leave.
I know you won't always like that you have to invite your whole class to your birthday party, or go to church on Sundays, or finish up the season of that one sport you thought you wanted to play but now don't. You'll think I have no sense of humor when I tell you that making fun of someone is wrong, and that words and kindness matters. That we're all made to be different, and that's wonderful.
I know you won't understand when you aren't allowed to wear this, or go there, or drive with those kids... I know you'll think I'm being mean and unfair and old fashioned, and that I don't remember what it was like to be teenager. Believe me, I remember far too well. And I love you far too much. I won't be that one "cool" parent who allows parties and drinking and has a secret code she yells down the stairs when the cops show up. I don't need to be your friend yet.
I will hate your friends and partners when they break your heart. I will wish it was my heart. I will try to keep my mouth shut when you don't want my advice. I said TRY. I will remember why things that I know don't matter much in the long run matter so much to you now. I will nurture your body and soul. I will encourage you to do the right thing, even when it is the hard thing. I will strive to do the same.
I will love your father. I will keep my vows to him. I will set the best example of partnership and teamwork and marriage and love that I can.
I will love you. I will love you. I will love you. When you need me, when you don't, when you hate me, I will love you.