Sunday, May 13, 2012

big girl, little things.

Dear m,
Thank you for making me a mother....for letting me borrow that title for a while and for letting me wear it with so much pride. You have given me the honor knowing what it feels like to be a mom and given me the gift of knowing that I can do this. That when I am unsure if I want to have children someday and that when I am unsure if it is possible to risk that much of love and that much of heartbreak, you have reminded me to be an example, to dig deep and to just have faith.

Because it was worth it, because you were worth it. Even if I had to write it all over, I would repeat your chapter in my life. You have given me a sacred glimpse of parenthood, the love, the joy, the fears....the soul crushing terrifying acceptance that it is possible to lose it all but that I am so much better because of it.

You have changed me in so many ways and you have shaped my relationship with the children we might have one day. To never take things for granted, to always say I love you, to have loud sing-a-longs in the car and to let you dance in the aisles of a theater as they're playing the end credits to the best song ever! To nurture that childlike awe, to just say yes to putting up a pink Christmas tree and then to let you keep it up just a little longer. But most of all, to always be in the moment, to always be present.

I have learned how important it is to take a break during a busy busy day and stop in for a lunch date at school, to always make sure I show up at a recital so that when you look across the room to find me, that I am there, to have one-on-one time and to listen to all your stories, because somewhere weaved in there are all your hopes and fears and dreams, and somewhere in there you are learning that you are heard.

I know that because I have seen your face light up and break into the biggest grin ever, I have seen your confidence grow and watched you pay it forward, I have seen how incredibly important those moments were to you. To bake a cake together and to get flour all over the kitchen, to silence my salmonella fears and let you lick the batter, to let you go to town in decorating the Easter eggs any way you want, even if it meant our eggs turn into a lovely shade of poop brown. Because your pride in those moments, in those moments that we were making memories, is irreplaceable.

The times where we have kept a schedule or done the mundane but precious ordinary blur into a big memory, but you never forget the special ones. A split decision then, but such big life lessons now. Writing out clues to a Valentines treasure hunt, bundling you up and taking you to the zoo, laughing as we try to figure out the walls of the gingerbread man house or the nights where I let you try on all my shoes and makeup, the nights where we transformed our kitchen into a make belief runway for a fashion show. Our special Sundays; just the both of us, to sleep in or to eat an illegal treat at McDonalds, to go to the park and feed the ducks, to stop and run in the sprinklers or to make a picnic of funny shaped sandwiches and organic oreos.

You have taught me the importance of staying consistent, the importance of boundaries and heartache of discipline. I have been the bad guy and I have been the good guy, whether it was working towards goals or learning about consequences. You have given me that honor and I have learned so much. Sometimes failing miserably and sometimes successful. You have taught me to color outside of the lines and to celebrate coloring outside the lines, you have taught me to use my imagination, whether it was the gourmet meal you "cooked" with sticks and flowers from our backyard or if it was trying to find a better way to help you understand a math problem.

I have learned to answer the hard questions, to answer with kindness and to do it with love. To be honest but to be sensitive. You have reinforced my values and my beliefs, of the lessons I want my children to learn and of the values I hope they prescribe to. You have taught me the importance of an apology, no matter if I am the parent or if I am older, you have taught me how important it is for a child to know that it is okay to make mistakes. You have taught me love, and you have taught me humility. You have taught me acceptance and letting go. You have taught me patience, and you have taught me joy.

You have taught me the gift of being a mom, and that will forever be a part of who I am and who I'll be. You were not from my womb, but you grew in my heart, and I am so so proud of who you are. Thank you for this lesson on parenthood, and on this Mother's day, thank you for letting me walk in those shoes for a while.

I love you m, you are missed and wherever you and wherever you're heading, I wish you the world.

Happy early birthday stinker, I remembered!

"Sometimes it's the smallest decisions that can change your life forever."
~Keri Russel

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I love you. Remember that as you transition through this, that we love you and we have your back. And when you think you can't, and when you think you are tired and overwhelmed, I will fight for you, I will climb into bed with you, I will hold you until it passes. I will make you laugh if you need me to, or I will be silent and be still, reminding you to just breathe. I will listen, and I will not judge. I will hear the spoken and unspoken and I will not rush you. You have all the time in the world, each person grieves differently and there is no right or wrong, just be you and be true to what you need and who you are and we will be here when you are ready. We love you, did I tell you that already?

You have taught me the gift of friendship, and I have learned so much. This? This is a privilege and an honor, this is a the hallowed walk of trust that is sacred and special, to allow someone to love you when you are most vulnerable and hurting, this, this is an honor. I am honored to be your friend and I am honored to be here.

This is karma and paying it forward and a full circle. I know what to do if only because you have unabashedly, courageously, live-out-loud, love-you-until-you-know-it lead the way. You have watched me fall apart, and you have held me through the darkness. You have calmed me through irrational fears and you have talked me off the ledge so so many times before.

You have watched me completely come undone and you have helped me pick up the pieces, you have been my safe place and you have reminded me again and again of who I am and who I am capable of being, you have taught me the amazing strength of being empowered and you have nurtured my spirit when I just needed someone to be in my corner.

You have always believed in me and it is because of how you have built me up that I know I am strong enough to go through anything, that I am strong enough to take anything you throw at me, that I will persevere and I will fight for you and I will stubbornly, optimistically, passionately, believe and hope for you. That I will cheer and cheer you on, enthusiastically, over-the-top, ridiculously loudly cheer as you celebrate every little win.

And when your world falls apart or when rock bottom hits a whole new level, we will dig deep and plant our roots deep into the foundation and start again. We will start again and even if it's two steps forward and sixteen steps back, we will find a way.

We will dance in my kitchen and make a meal together like all the six hundred and forty two times we have done in your kitchen, and we will make grand plans, hope big dreams and I will support all your crazy the way you have supported mine.

Because that's what friends do.

Because I know with all my heart, that this is what you would do.

And just in case you need a reminder of who you are. This is who you are.

You are the kind of friend that always has room for one more at her dinner table, and the kind of friend you call at 4am to come save you.

You are the mom that makes eggs-in-a-poke and ridiculously delicious french toast on special mornings and you make it with love! You are the mom that soothes and rocks a crying out-of-control please-help-me child and you just love him through it. You are the mom that celebrates her children and throws parties with messy pie contests and DJs and you laugh wholeheartedly with them.  

You are the daughter that goes all out, blazes and glory, loves on her mama, and you are the daughter that will still come home and cuddle on the couch, love love love her mama.

You are the kind of wife that tries. You have tried and you have dug deep and you have loved. If love was enough and if love was the only thing that was needed to fix, this would not have happened. He's lost himself, he's broken, and he's not the man you fell in love with and he's not healthy enough to be who you need him to be for you and the kids. This was not your fault, you didn't break him, you didn't break this, some things were just broken long before you came along.

You are the kind of wife that picked out special cards and threw special surprises. You are the kind of wife that planned a night out together or a holiday in the city just the both of you. You are the kind of wife that loved and believed and stayed in spite of the what was happening. You are the kind of wife that was loyal and held on and tried your hardest to make it work. You sucked it all in and forgot to breathe, you sucked it all in and held on and let someone crush your spirit because you loved them so much. You fought for him so much that you forgot to fight for you.

You are the kind of wife that has to make hard decisions, but these decisions will not break you. You are a good wife, and sometimes in being a good wife comes having to let go.

You are the sister that will fight for and take a punch and be in their corner again, and again, and again, no matter what. Even if it is bat shit drama and all hell is breaking loose, you will tell them to shut up but still save their asses every time. The kind of sister that they call when they are swimming in the deep end because you will cry with them, and you will love on them, and you will say, well that was stupid, but still hug them so tight when they come home.

You are the kind of person that will spend your last penny on someone you love. And you wouldn't even think about it, because that is just who you are. You are generous and you love and you share. This is not a flaw.

You are the boss that is not afraid to teach and not afraid to learn. You are the boss that is never too proud to say I'm sorry and never too rigid to try something new. You empower and you nurture. You teach life lessons and you lead.

You encourage and build up your customers and they always walk away feeling awesome and all kinds of wonderful. You light up a room, who you are, even with all the broken and hurting, is still magic. I've never once seen you turn down a charity or seen you blow your own horn for donating your time or your charity or your heart. You wear your heart on your sleeve and you are genuine and you are real.

You are the kind of person that just sees the good in people. And that is not a flaw.

Don't forget that.

You are important to me.

You are my heck-yeah-that-is-the-dumbest-shit-I've-ever-heard-but-let's-do-it! friend. You are my don't-be-stupid, fight-for-me-when-I-can't friend. You are my friend I call and my friend I miss so much when I'm balls out utterly obsessed party planning because I know you would be excited for me, and I know you would laugh with me and I know, that you are my number one fan. My friend when I need a pep talk and my friend when I just need a poor poor baby pity party. You are not shy with your love, and you are not shy about protecting and fighting for the ones you love.

This who you are. And who you are is all kinds of awesome.

You inspire me.

So remember this as you transition, that I think the world of you and I believe in you. I think you're beautiful and I think you deserve it all. All the hopes, all the dreams, all the amazing and the possible even if it's scary. I think you deserve happiness and magic.

But in the mean time, in the transition, remember this,

I got your back, 

no matter what.  

"My friends remind me, by their very steadfastness, that truth, goodness, and beauty exist in the world, and that no matter what, there are and always will be, people loving people through thick and thin." 
~ Kay Foley