Dear Daughter

Another birthday, already?  How many times have I told you to stop these foolish shenanigans? Do I need to get a lawyer to make you cease and desist from throwing it in my face—the fact that you’re getting older? Think of all the times I begged you to be my little girl again. I don’t think that was too much to ask. Unrealistic, maybe, but miracles have been known to happen.

So yes, I know, this weekend is your birthday.  How can I forget, what with all I went through? Nine months of back pain, swollen ankles, heartburn, and elevated blood pressure. I suffered it all, and what do I have to show for it?

There you are, happily romping in the snow with your friend.

A 20-year old who’s off gallivanting somewhere far from home. Ok, so you’re in college. Dean’s List, too.  But did I ask you to go 2,000 miles away? Ok, so I did encourage you, but that was in the excitement of the moment when you were first notified that you’d been accepted at your dream school. We hugged and did a joyful dance. And yes, I did say, “Go, send in your acceptance!” But the next thing I knew, there you were, packing your bags and saying, ”So long, Mom” without batting an eye.

Twenty years old. The years have skipped by in a blur. One minute I’m cradling you in my arms and the next, you’re four, dancing in a ballet recital. Then, you’re 8 and going on your first Girl Scout camping trip. You’re 13 and preparing for your Bat Mitzvah. And now here you are, a sophomore in college, leaving me with only one thought:

When it comes to daughters, I couldn’t have done better than you.

So, Birthday Girl, I want to thank you for sparing me the grief other mothers of teenage girls so often go through. For regularly texting to let me know how you’re doing in school. For calling me when your work shift ends late at night, so I can keep you company on your walk back to your dorm. For all the love you’ve given me throughout these years. For enjoying my company as much as I enjoy yours. For being the caring, thoughtful daughter you’ve turned out to be. I know what you mean to me, and what I mean to you.

You left me verklempt recently, when you commented for the first time on this blog. It was regarding a post I wrote titled, If I Could Do it All Again. In it, I said I would have hugged my children more often when they were young, when they still loved hugging back.  You responded in a way that left me speechless:

“You got one thing wrong though, Mom…I STILL love hugging you back. In fact, I wish I could fly home right now just to get one of those amazing hugs that only you can give me.”

Well, Spring Break is already on the horizon and I’ll be seeing you soon, ready to hug you once more. Until then, when I think of you, I’ll be remembering the Martina McBride song that poignantly touches on how you make me feel:

In my daughter’s eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter’s eyes…”

Happy Birthday, B.B.!

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24 thoughts on “Dear Daughter

  1. I promised I’d read this post and I’m so glad I did. You and Sarah have always had such a special bond, but I’m not surprised. A lovely girl and a lovely mother. You both have the greatest gift…each other.

  2. Muy lindo Monica, los hijos son lo mejor que podemos tener en el mundo!. El amor hacia ellos es infinito!. La saludaremos en dia de su cumpleaños. Me encantó el poema final!!!!!.

  3. Ditto’s on what JD had to say… this post would have made me cry had I not been in our oh-so-public office… with you over my shoulder… but truly, you speak for Mom’s with away-at-college kids all over… and make students like me remember to pick up the phone and remind our parent’s how much they mean to us : )

  4. I can only imagine this is how I’m going to feel when Sophie turns 20 in 17 years. I still think of Sarah as that little girl standing with me in the Puzzle Place photo. You should be congratulated on raising such a smart, beautiful and talented daughter. My hat’s off to you!

    • Yes, wait and see. Luckily, you have a long wait ahead of you. But it’s really not so bad, this growing up thing. She’ll always be my “little girl” in my heart. I have my memories and I also have a grown daughter who makes me proud. Think about it, you first knew her when she was just a year older than Sophie is now. See how the years go by? So fleeting.

  5. Thanks Mom!!! Now I am getting verklempt. This is truly the best birthday present you could have given me. (Of course, I’m still waiting on that Amazon gift card… 😉 )

    I love you so much. You’re the one who should really be celebrated on Saturday!!! And you will be, by me!

    Love Always,
    Daughter

  6. Monica! This post made me cry! I feel like you have captured what my mom has been trying to relay to me for the last 5 years!!! This has helped me understand how she felt when I first left the nest and how she feels every year when my birthday comes around!

    Can’t wait to read more! Miss you!

    JD

  7. Love it! Daughters are so special. I can only hope that mine will follow in Sarah’s footsteps and not give me tooo much grief 🙂

    • Thank you. My daughter was very young when I was going through my divorce. Her love, her adoration that I felt, helped me through some really tough times. I think that because I raised her as a single mom, we had so many more opportunities to spend time together. We are very close and I consider it a gift. So glad you and your mom have this gift, too. Thank you for reading my blog! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I love that photo, too. She took it recently, during their last snow storm, on a day when school was canceled. I saw it on her Facebook page and asked her to send it to me. Little did she know how I planned to use it…tee-hee!

  8. Loved it, Loved it, Loved it, What a wonderful way to wish your daugther a Happy Birthday.
    You are a really great Mom!!

  9. There was once a magic elixer which if taken regularly would peel back the years. I took part in the trials. To tell you the truth I regretted it. Not because it didn’t work but rather no one enjoyed the experience. There was so much that we had forgotten and for good reasons. After extensive trials the mixture was withdrawn fiorm the market. The moral of this simple story is… Well what do you think I am -a philosopher?

      • Actually Monica I have a weakness. I used to describe my two young children as Angel’s. There’s sloppy for you. I would say things like, ‘You are bound to me by silken threads. My job is to let them out gently and lovingly and then -snap! – and you’re gone.

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