Who I want to be
The longest shortest week ever

Letter to my daughter on her 18th birthday (about 10 years from now)

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Dear sweet almond-eyed beauty,

I'm writing this to you now, while you're still 8 years old because I love you.  Of course, that will not have changed by the time you turn 18, but I'm currently experiencing a wave of pure joy and wanted to let you know about it.  I can picture you at 18... possibly in your college dorm or maybe still up in your room... either way laying propped up on your elbows on your bed - feet swinging up in the air while you read this.  You're probably biting your cuticles, too, just like you do now.  Old habits are hard to break.  I know, because I'm 37 and still bite my cuticles, too.

As I write this, you're 8.  You are beautiful and in full charge of yourself.  You know what you like and don't like.  You listen to Daddy & me.  You have insight.  You have humor.  You have a smile that melts me every time I see it.  You are a perfect mix of both extroverted and reserved.  You have wonderful friends who complement you to a tee and vice versa.  

I hope when you are reading this, that you can remember what it was like to be 8... play practice, going to church on Sunday & CCD on Monday to prepare for communion, soccer practice, your little brother annoying you and at the same time looking up to you with his huge blue eyes, reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary, eating spaghetti tacos, roller skating in the driveway...

I hope you look back happily at it all.  Because I have to admit something to you -  I don't know what I'm doing half the time.  You're my first shot at being a mom.  I hope I don't mess it up.  One of my biggest fears is that you end up hating me because I didn't do something right. I know you'll end up having bouts of disliking me from time to time because of you might not like my decisions.  What kid doesn't hate their mom sometimes?  I have agreed with myself to accept those times as long as you know that I tried my best.  I promise you I always will.

I can't see the future, of course, but I can tell you this:  if you stick to the life you're leading now, you're going far, my dear.  You are kind and smart and love to learn.  Don't ever change those aspects of yourself.  You can ALWAYS learn something new.  You can ALWAYS be kind, even when others aren't.  Being smart is a gift - don't ever pretend you're not.

I want what every parent wants for you.  I want you to be happy and successful.  But I REALLY want to stress that 'happy' part.  It's so important.  I hope you're reading this with a smile on your face.  I'm writing it to you when you're 8.  You're reading it when you're 18.  Either way, you're young and beautiful with your whole life ahead of you.  I'm SO proud of you.

I love you love you love you... you are the moon and the stars.  You are my girl.  Always.

Love,

Mom

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