Saturday, February 1, 2014

Nine years old...

Madalyn,

You turned nine yesterday.  Nine years old.

Seems like yesterday I held up in the tiny examining room crying my eyes out after my doctor told me you weren't ready to be induced yet.  It was just a day or so until your due date, and I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore.  And when he left me in the room to get dressed and leave and go back home, still pregnant and no induction date on the books, I wept like crazy, this ugly kind of cry.  And I had to get myself together so no one in the office would know I had been so upset.

Seems like yesterday but such a world away at the same time.  Things were so different then.

And you were born.  On a frigid day at Brookwood hospital.  It was raining outside.  I had laid in that hospital bed all day watching, of all things, the Food Network despite the fact that I couldn't have any real food.  Sometime around 5:00 or so, you entered the world all perfect and crying and pink.  We were all smitten with you from the very start.

I was so young, insecure, still so uncertain of what I was doing.  And I was so scared of having a girl.  And there you were, bright eyed and beautiful.  And somehow I knew it would all be okay.  And I hoped I wouldn't mess you up too much.

At the time, I had no idea that I would be raising you without my own mother by my side, helping me, giving me advice, encouraging me along the way.  But here we are with that reality.  I know that she is still with us, especially when you talk about her at the most random times.  I hope that one day you will realize how hard she fought to stick around for her grandkids so that you would all remember her.  I hope that one day you will look back, hear her story, and realize her strength and grace.  I hope that you will be more like her than me, because she was so much better a person than I have ever dreamed of being.

Some think you look a lot like me.  And I guess you do.  Only prettier than I could ever be.  And sassier and more sure of yourself.  And I hope you stay that way.  Don't ever doubt who you are.  Ever.  Don't ever believe someone if they tell you that you aren't good enough or smart enough or enough of anything.  Because, believe me when I say that someone, someday, will try to convince you that you are not enough.  But don't you dare believe a word of it.  You are greater than anything in my mind.  And in the Lord's eyes.  You are amazing, and anyone who doesn't believe that is not worthy of your time.

Remember your roots.  Strong but quiet women who loved from the depths of their soul.  There's nothing quiet about you now, my dear, but I have no doubt that you will learn the benefits of gentleness one day.  You will learn the value of picking your battles and using words sparingly without ever having to bow down to a necessary fight.  Beyond all this, remember you are loved by those on earth and in heaven.  I believe that our loved ones in heaven are able to intercede for us, and that gives you a special advantage as you have two amazing angels watching over you from above.

Oh, my sweet daughter, this world you live in is crazy and confusing.  I fret about you, think about your future, wonder if I am getting this parenting thing even half way right.  And in the quiet moments of life, you remind me that things are okay.  In the way that you do something so simply thoughtful or say that you love me when I least expect it.  You are such a handful and a mess at times, but you are a lovely little person.  And I hope that we will be thick as thieves one day, that you will see me as a woman who so desperately loves you and wants the very best for you.  I hope that we will be as close as I was with my mama, that I can be your soft place to fall, your calming force.

I love you more than I ever dreamed possible to love another living thing...

Love,
Your Crazy Mama

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