My Baby is 18 Months Old – Her “gift” and “A Letter to My Daughter”

The Lil Diva is 18 months old today.

I’m in denial. She’s my baby.

It makes a mother a bit sentimental.

See what she gave CG and me as an early present on Sunday morning that was so amazing I actually blogged on the weekend.

For her “birthday” I am (re)posting a guest blog I did for Maija’s Mommy Moments a little over two months ago titled: Give This to My Daughter.

“What would you need your daughter to know if something were to happen to you?  What would you want to say if you weren’t here to tell her?”

———————————————————

A Letter to My Angel Kiss -

As I write this, you are my 15 month old Lil Diva – you know what you want, when you want it and voice your displeasure at top volume should anyone fail to yield to your sometimes undecipherable requests.

A sweet moment.

You aren’t talking yet, not really. A few words are distinguishable to us, but not to outsiders. You also execute the cutest dog bark I’ve ever seen – even though dogs continue to scare and fascinate you simultaneously.

You adore your brother – in spite of the occasional tormenting and tackling at his hands – and want to do everything he can do. You show no fear in exploring the heights of the picnic table, playground, couch, or anything else your brother ventures to climb.

His name was your true first word.

You charm everyone you meet via wave, adoring grin, and blown kisses.  People can’t help but smile back at you.

Your indomitable spirit, as your brother tackles you yet again, is indestructible.

Your Mimi says you’re just like me, which both terrifies and delights me.

Right now life is so simple.  Everyone loves you and you have no concept of the cruelty in the world.  Teething is your biggest enemy.

Sadly, it will not always be this way.

When I discovered you were a girl, I was scared.  Petrified. Not for me, but for you.

Because some day, I will not be the center of your universe – your friends will be – and little girls are one of the Top 10 Meanest Creatures on the planet. Their weapon of choice? Psychological Warfare.

I hope I am still here for you to talk to, to love you unconditionally, and support you through those difficult years.

If, heaven forbid, I am not, I need that indestructible spirit you show me every day to shine through.

No matter what your supposed friends, enemies, or frenemies say or do to you – please remember you are loved for the unique person you are.

You always will be.  Even if I have to love you from the heavens above.

I suffered the loss of my best friend when I was in the sixth grade.  She didn’t die or anything. She just stopped talking to me.  Along with the rest of the group I believed to be my friends.

I was alone. Depressed. How could the people I trusted just suddenly leave me? No fight or argument.  Just one day, they pretended I didn’t exist.

It was like my world ended.

And I didn’t want to be there anymore.  Not in school.  Not living with the ache of it all.

One thing stopped me from doing something horrible, like taking my own life.

My mother, your Mimi.

I knew she loved me. I knew if anything happened to me, it would devastate her.

And I loved her too much to hurt her that way.

She gave me the strength to hold my head high and hope for a better day – even though I never told her about the drama unfolding.

I want you to know that you have my stubbornness.  My strength. I see it behind the gleam of your eyes as you set a goal for yourself.

One morning you determined you would master transitioning from squatting to standing without the aid of a person or an object. Three hours later you stood without any help for the very first time – refusing to be beaten by the countless falls onto your butt and multiple crashes onto your head. You cannot only survive, but thrive with whatever anyone tosses your way.

Sure, you will fall and falter at times as you take on another daunting task – seeking challenges is in your nature.

Just know that if you topple from whatever is your current Picnic Table Climbing Challenge, you are loved – even if for some reason we are no longer in this world you occupy.

By your Daddy: who currently has no issues debasing himself via contorted faces in public – all to elicit a hysterical giggle or smile from you.  Just remember, Daddy is a guy.  Guys can be horrible at verbal communication. Dragging out “feelings” or “what he’s thinking” can be more difficult than making it snow during a Texas summer.  If you ever have issues talking with him, try writing him a letter, an email, or whatever the preferred written communication is by that time.  It’s the best way to “talk” to him, especially if he’s in a mood.  Keep in mind that you will always be his baby girl, his Lil Diva – and no person, place, or thing will ever make him stop loving you – even if his affection is less overt when you’re a teen or adult.

Lil Diva turns 1.

By me: whose heart melts every time you lay your head on my shoulder and wrap your tiny arms around my neck.  Sometimes I wish I could freeze you this way, this Mommy snuggle monster who demands I plop onto the ground so you may in turn crawl into my lap.  At the same time, I can’t wait to see you grow and develop into a little girl, a gawky teenager, and finally a woman.  Maybe even a mother someday.

I just don’t want to lose those hugs in the process. Those hugs are like being hooked into a million volt battery – they fill me with enough energy to deal with anything life tosses my way.

By your brother: Sure he tortures you at times – I’m told that is written into a Super Secret Brotherly Codes of Conduct by reputable sources.  It is how a brother demonstrates he cares about you.  The joy on his face when he succeeds in making you laugh is a sight to behold – one I never tire of.  While he is often the instrument behind your torment, he also protects you.  Should your daddy or I take too long in responding to your cries, he will take the initiative to calm you and bring the smile back.  I hope someday you are not just siblings, but friends who will be there to support each other through the joys and pitfalls of life.

By your Mimi: Mimi battled cancer when I was only seven years old. I almost lost her.  At one point she never thought she’d live to see her daughters married, much less any grandchildren.

The joy you brought into Mimi’s life – and all of your grandparents and great grandparents really – is truly amazing.  She and the others live for those moments they get to spend with you and your brother.  They hate the long distance between us and anxiously countdown to the next visit.

If for some reason, I am not around and Mimi still is, know that you can talk to her about anything – no matter how traditionally taboo the topic.  Don’t let her grandmother status fool you – she’s still an amazing woman whose bountiful love for you could never be contained or diminished.

So keep dreaming big – even if those around you shake their heads at the sheer impossibility of success.

You’ve already proved us wrong countless times and you’re only 15 months old.

So no matter how insurmountable a dream or problem may be, know that you have people in your life to hold your hand, talk to you, or just listen to you as you contemplate the best way to achieve or solve it.

And you will solve it.

It just may take longer than the three hours it took you to stand on your own.

I love you, Angel Kiss.

-Mommy

————————————

I was reminded to re-post this on my blog after reading this post from Sara and the priceless gift her mother left for her family after losing her battle with leukemia. Is it a sad story? Yes, but the message of love shared is inspirational - and the gift given something every parent could do for their own children.

 

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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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11 Responses to My Baby is 18 Months Old – Her “gift” and “A Letter to My Daughter”

  1. Kir says:

    oh you got me, seriously, GOT ME. What a gorgeous letter, to a gorgeous little girl (and those pictures, OMG!) Being loved is best of all…and she is. This letter was just stunning. *tears*

  2. Kim Woehl says:

    Totally agree with Kir! Stunning!

  3. Sara says:

    This is so beautiful. And those photos. WOW! You have some serious talent!
    I’m so honored to be listed here on this page with this amazing letter. Make sure you print this out and tuck it away somewhere safe. You know, just in case, the internet blows up and all ;)
    Gorgeous, really!

  4. What a beautiful tribute and I hope that one day, far far away, you get to sit and read it – together :)

  5. I am so very honoured that you first shared this on my site. It truly is amazing.

    I love the line “sometimes I wish I could freeze you this way” because I think you just did.

    On ‘lil Diva’s 18 month birthday I am toasting you and hoping you’ll continue writing and continue “freezing” those moments.

    Maija

  6. Galit Breen says:

    The photos, your words, are all so beautifully woven together. Happy 18 months to your sweet girl and beautiful family. Sob, sniffle, I want to go squeeze my sweeties extra tight now! XO

  7. Leighann says:

    This was very hard to read.
    I am bawlIng.
    I have a daughter.
    I fear and wish these very things.
    So well done friend.
    So so well done

  8. Pingback: Give This To My Daughter: A letter to my Angel Kiss | Dances with Chaos

  9. Oh my goodness, I just commented on the post you wrote for her first birthday, but this has me absolutely WEEPING. What a lovely, touching, amazingly heartfelt letter.

  10. Pingback: Hot for Teachers | Dances with Chaos

  11. Pingback: A Letter to My Son | Dances with Chaos

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