I began a journey with you, twenty-one years and some days ago, and I started with a letter. You have that letter today, packed away in a box---and I wish I had kept writing, marking every significant event, for that was my plan. However, motherhood proved a very time consuming effort, and the plan changed.
I woke this morning, knowing you would be asleep on the couch, with your bags and boxes packed, and wondered in which one I would find that faded, blue journal. I decided not to search. Nevertheless, I wanted to share with you some thoughts from my heart on this cool August morning.
This day is one of excitement and anticipation for you. You step fully into the world, ready to face life on your own terms. I am proud of you. There was a moment long ago, my love, when they placed you in my arms, and I fell into your eyes. You looked to me like such a serious, little soul, so very tiny and dependent on me for everything. At the time, I was only nineteen, and had no idea how to be a mother. You and Amber managed to teach me, and I kept learning as time went on.
I have spent two decades watching you grow, your heart fairly bursting with love and passion. I am amazed. I do not know how you turned out to be so incredibly smart, talented, giving, confident and beautiful. This in itself is proof of a Creator who fills our lives with his love and mercy. The same wonder is echoed, repeated in the lives of your siblings. You each defy my logic, and astonish me.
I know today marks a turning point, a crossroads. So many things between us will remain the same, but some things will be forever changed; and that is as it should be. Life is about changes. You are headed down a road that I’ve only ever seen through eyes as young as yours. Yet, your Grandma has made before, both your voyage, and mine, and she is watching as well. Life does repeat itself.
I want you to know that I believe in you. I am so grateful to have been chosen to be your mother. I cannot explain how my life was transformed when you came along, and I became ‘Mommy’. Someday, you will understand what I mean.
Today, I stand looking over your shoulder, at the life you have ahead, and I am speechless. I have taken my hopes and dreams for you, and tucked them safely away in the pockets of my heart, where they belong. I have come to realize that this is your life, and your dreams and plans are your own. I cannot wait to see what you make of your world, my darling.
You come from a long line of strength and love, Sarah. You may not carry the name of the women who came before you, as a son would carry the name of his fathers, but you carry us, our love and character is woven into the fabric of your being. We are watching, and you, my daughter, will bear us forward, into your own daughters and sons. What an incredible thought.
So, this morning, as the sun comes up, and the day begins to stir, I would give you a map and a compass, along with a tiny jeweled box that carries a piece of my heart. Find your path, Sarah, and know that whatever direction you choose, your compass and map will be true. I know you will find your way forward, and moreover, always remember the way home.
I love you, madly.