FOR MAISY, ON HER FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

My sweet Maisy Jane. How is it possible that we are here already? Every cliche that they say about how fast it all goes is so impossibly true.

As I sat down to write this, I couldn’t help but pause and reflect on how different the world feels since the last time I’ve had to write a letter like this–but how would you know? I’ve kept so many of the atrocities of the adult world at bay to keep the magic in your little world intact and if I could keep you from hurt forever–I would. But there comes a time when I have to let go of your hand and hope you are met with as much kindness as you exude to everyone around you–and that time is now.

Our time together, as we have known it to be for as long as I can remember–is about to change and even though I’ve gone through this once before, it stings a little more having to do it again. My baby, my perfect girl. As I type this, you are sleeping upstairs under a pile of your favorite stuffed animals. Before I tucked you in, you ran from the bathroom with washcloths that you fashioned into pillows for all of them and you kissed them all goodnight as if they were your own born children. You are made of something otherworldly and I’ve felt that since the day you were born. When I was pregnant with you, everyone told me that you would be hell because your sister was pretty easy on me and lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice. But much to every cynics surprise–You were the baby that never cried, the baby that slept through the night when you were 2 weeks old. You were just so content to be alive and loved. You never demanded attention but simply just welcomed it when it came your way organically and you’re still that way; Constantly surprising me just when I think that I have you memorized.

You’re louder now, wilder. You’re finding your footing as you grow. But there’s still this softness to you that I wish I could conjure for myself. Your little hands gently cradling a bug you found while you were playing–the way you delight when you find a crunchy leaf or a pinecone or one of the millions of rocks I have fished out of your jacket pockets over the years. You are the daydreamer, often immersed in your own imagination, and we are quick to assume that you aren’t paying attention to what’s in front of you but we are always underestimating you. You see all of the small things that are easily overlooked and it is truly your superpower. You see the bees and the butterflies, you wave to the birds and the squirrels. You cry when you listen to music because you can feel the emotion through the notes. You know when someone needs a hug before they even know it themselves and they are truly unmatched–a healing salve for a weary soul. The way you cried when you realized that flowers died in the winter and your heart couldn’t take it.

After you were born, for months I would agonize over the thought of not being awake to hear your first cries. I would think of myself laying on that operating table sound asleep while you were crying and being passed around the room and my arms were empty and unable to soothe you. It gutted me to think of you hurting or scared while I wasn’t equipped to help you. I’ve been lucky enough to have you home with me for the last 3+ years which has been a gift for my heart–to know that from sun up until sun down that whenever you were hurt or scared–there I was. I’ve bandaged every scraped knee, iced every bumped head. I’ve held you while you were febrile from illness, held you while you were fragile from worry. And I’m not going to lie–the thought of sending you to school scares me to death. My gentle, soft-spoken, empathetic girl. My silly-heart. I wish I could shield you from every sad, every scary. But I know that I would be doing the world a disservice because your unwavering heart deserves to be shared.

I promise to always be your soft place to land and your safe place, but in the same breath I will be the loudest voice in the crowd cheering you on every single step of wherever your beautiful life takes you. I can’t wait to see who you turn out to be.

Maisy, my baby. There is a child out there that will be forever changed for the better the day that they get to call you a friend. You are the warmth of a summer night, you are glee and delight. You are a light that never goes out.

I couldn’t have dreamt you up if I tried. You are everything. I love you.

Forever,
Mama

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