letters to my kids - 1st edition

My dearest first-born,
I was just doing a bit of counting, some figuring up.

Three days ago we watched together the last episode of Downton Abbey's third season; you shook your fist and yelled dramatically, "Noooooo!!!" at the television when you-know-who got killed off the show (which was probably what the entire western hemisphere wanted to do). Two days ago I found a note from you on my pillow, an "I'm sorry" for choosing to disobey me, with an "I'll always love you" added to the end probably to remind us both that offenses don't make or break our relationship. Yesterday you set up a spa and beauty shop in your room and treated your sister, your brother, and me to special treatments complete with twinkly music and nature soundscapes, smelly lotions, back scratches, and face massages. You even thought about inviting your dad to the spa, but then decided that would be just kind of eww (spoken in our best Jimmy Fallon voice). Today we noticed the sign at the school that said "No smoking in the car rider lane"; then you laughed that laugh of yours - the one where no sound comes out and you just turn into one big convulsion - when I said, "I should use that excuse with your dad: 'Hey A, you'll have to go get the kids from school today. They won't let me in the car rider lane because this outfit is SMOKIN'!'" (You are one of my worldwide favorites to make laugh.)

Our days are so full, aren't they? I mean, I know that within them there's also all of the times we get irritated with each other, the times that our household of five feels not just wild and crazy but too wild and too crazy. You don't listen sometimes and neither do I. I can't figure out what it is about picking up behind yourself you can't seem to grasp. I'm sure you can't figure out why I can't seem to remember to sign your Wednesday school folder until Friday. When you don't do the things I have reasonably asked you to do, sometimes I feel so frustrated and disrespected and even hurt. When I lecture you or have to put in boundaries and discipline, sometimes I see in your eyes and in your face that you feel frustrated or disrespected and even hurt. It can be hard to be a mama and a daughter, to be grown and to be growing.

But the way I figure - when I count up our life and times - you just make me so happy, fill me with such joy. My thoughts of you bubble over like a fizzy drink shaken up too hard. When I think about you, my girl, the least common denominator in those thoughts is the rough spots, our tougher days. When I think about you, my lovely, lovely young lady, the greatest common factor in those thoughts is deep gratitude that you are mine.

I could add up all that I love in you for days and days and never get to the end of counting. At least that's how I figure it.

I just wanted to tell you.



  1. Anonymous11:25:00 PM

    Perfectly and wonderfully stated as only you can do. I love you so much, but then I love Isabella Anne so much as well.


  2. Anonymous6:33:00 AM


  3. Precious. Your relationship is so sweet.

  4. Tara Stiffler10:51:00 PM

    Whoa! I'm bawling. That is precious and a keepsake of a letter for you both. I love it.


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