I sat at my desk tonight and I took a hard look at you. It’s so strange to me to look at you and see you almost 8 years old. I can still feel you, 6lbs 12 oz, as they laid you in my arms that first time. You’ve grown into a beautiful child and I’m more than proud to call you mine. You’re well on your way toward being a beautiful and strong woman and if I can do half as good of a job of raising you as you’ve done with me, you’ll be okay.
While watching you tonight I was really hit with how short my time with you really is. I know..you think it will take forever for you to grow up but trust Mom on this…it really won’t. Before too long, you’ll be graduating high school and leaving home for college, then marriage and babies and honestly? I’m nowhere near ready for that. I’m not sure I ever will be.
So, here I sit, 2 am, writing this to you…and not entirely sure why. All I really know is that right now, in this moment, I need to tell you these things.
1. You saved your Momma. I mean that in every sense of the word. You have saved me on more than one occasion. It was only because of you that I pulled myself up out of the gutter and stood on my own two feet for the first time in my life. I can’t (and won’t because you’re so young) go into other details but there have been plenty of times where I would have given up, curled up and died had it not been for you. I will never be able to thank you quite enough for that and honestly? I’m not going to try.
2. The people who are in our past are exactly that…in our past. What they did, think or do now doesn’t matter to us. They live their lives and hopefully they’re happy with them, but if not, we will go on and be happy in ours. ANYONE who can’t see the value of having you, of all people, isn’t worth the time it takes to say their name or the breath you’d waste doing it.
3. Tom does love you. Yeah, he goes a bit GI Joe on you sometimes, but that’s just his way. He wants whats best for you and he wants you to grow up to be a respectable, responsible adult who looks at him like a father. Give him time MonkeyButt..he’s got a lot to learn and he’s trying to learn it in a short time.
4. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything that we went through together in the past. I’m sorry for the people that walked out of your life choosing other things and I’m sorry for any part of that that I may have played a part in. You’ve been through more at your age than most adults will ever go through and that’s not fair to you. You’ve grown up too quickly…are more mature (in some ways) than you should be. There’s not a single thing I could do to make up for that but I can promise you…never again.
5. Always treat others like you want to be treated. People are fickle creatures Em. They react emotionally to things and sometimes, those emotions are mean. BUT, if you treat them the way you want to be treated? With love, respect and dignity? Most of the time, they’ll return the favor.
6. Dream Emma. Never stop dreaming because the day you stop dreaming is the day that you stop hoping. Without hope, your very being will shrivel and die.
7. Play. Stop trying to be so adult about everything and just learn to play. Remind Mommy that work can wait sometimes and to play with you. Make me jump into the pool with you and splash me with water sometimes just to remind me to play too.
8. Trust People. Learn to trust those around you. Learn to trust that they’re not out to hurt you and give them the benefit of the doubt. I see the distrust in your eyes when talking about certain people or when you see certain people. Don’t do that. Always trust someone until you have a reason not to.
9. Be more than your Momma. When you grow up, live out the dreams that you have and be more than I am. Yes, I am happy where I am right now, but don’t waste 10 years of your life getting to happy. Be more than me and be happy from the start.
10. I love you. Never forget that Emma. No matter what has happened in the past, no matter what is to come…I love you. You are everything I ever wanted in a child and more and I wouldn’t trade a single moment of our life together for anything. Simply put? You are Mommy’s world…and I thank you for being in it.
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