An Open Letter to My Daughter,

AKA Snot-Nose-Poopy-Pants

Dear Lily,

There are a few things I’d like you to know. And I don’t mean “know” I mean KNOW, deep down in your very being. Things that are important to me and should be important to you at one time in your life… although maybe not as you read this letter; I get that, people need different things at different times during their lives.

First off: You have ALWAYS been wanted. We wanted you the moment we looked into each others eyes, fell in love and said “yes.” We actively wanted you in December of 2001 and started trying with the New Year. It didn’t happen right away and sometimes this made me very sad. But then I started to see that you wanted to come to a mom that was ready for you. You needed a mom that wasn’t so stressed out because of a job that wasn’t right for her. You needed a mom that had time to sit with you in a chair and nurse. You needed a mom that was happy and ready to accept a whole new life. So, I quit my job and learned to slow down a little. Then I had to learn to accept that you would not come to me simply because I wished it so. I had to accept that you would come when you were ready. And so, we stopped “trying” and your dad and I just agreed to let it happen. Two weeks after that in October of 2002, you were conceived. We were thrilled, excited and amazed and haven’t stopped feeling all those emotions since.

Second: Your dad and I, we are flawed. Part of being human is making mistakes and having aspects of yourself that you will always need to work on. I’m terrible when it comes to patience. You’re probably saying, “No kidding, Mom!” Your dad, well he’s terrible at letters. No, strike that, he writes beautiful, soulful, funny letters that make you just want to kiss him… he just doesn’t write them often and even if he does, he’ll never get them into the mail! But that’s not the point. It’s important to remember that we’re going to make a lot of mistakes, but our intent will always be for your highest good.

A job isn’t WHO you are. It’s just what you do. We will never have these big expectations of you being a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher or whatever. We don’t think that way. We just want you to be happy. How you chose to make that happen for yourself is up to you. We expect you to be a responsible adult, but that doesn’t include some special formula of x-job and y-kids and yadda yadda yadda. Do what ever you want, just BE happy if you can!

Last, but certainly not least, know that we love you. And I’m not talking about any love you can understand until you have one of your own. I’m talking about a kind of love that is all consuming, permanent, makes you weep and laugh all at once, opens your heart, changes your world… it’s just so big. You just don’t know until you have a child how amazingly huge it is. The sacrifices we make in rearing you… they are not sacrifices. They are choices we make gladly and with an open heart. We could choose to parent differently, but it would be a lie. And I don’t want to lie to you. Not about this. Not about anything, really, but especially about this. We parent you the way we do because of that love. Know that.

Daddy is picking you up from Grandmas and you’ll be here soon. That means it’s time to make some dinner, fold your diapers, and get ready to welcome you home.

Don’t forget: I love you. You’re awesome.