February 23, 2010
My baby girl, I’ve put off writing this letter for as long as I can. I can’t believe you’re really leaving the nest. I want you to know how proud I am of you, how happy I am that you’re braving the world, and forging your own path. Jericho, you’ve always been the one to go it your own way. I envy you that boldness, and creativity. Your confidence inspires me, and I’m glad you’ve got it in spades.
I have been thinking a lot this week about the first day I met you. I can still close my eyes and hear the doctor saying “It’s a girl.” I cried, tears of joy, like the tears I’m crying now. I wonder if I have the right words to say to you… to tell you how much you are loved, how amazing and beautiful you are, inside and out. I wonder if I did enough, if I taught you everything I could, if I wasted time. I would give anything for one afternoon to see your three-year-old smile---to hear you sing the Barney song, in your sweet little voice—to watch you twirling in the back yard, splashing in the bathroom sink, making a mess in the kitchen. I can’t count how many times I wanted to cry over missing eyeglasses and shoes, and how I miss those days.
I wouldn’t go back forever, you know--only for a couple of hours. I wouldn’t trade a moment of the past twenty years… you’ve made being a mother the most amazing thing. And I’m learning as I go--that today you’ve not learned everything there is to learn. You are not ready to face the world on your own. You will keep making mistakes, keep learning, keep living without my guiding hand. And at the same time… you are ready, and so am I – ready to see you take on this new challenge, and succeed.
You know, I’ll stand in your empty room tonight… or tomorrow night… or whenever you get around to moving ALL of your stuff into the apartment… and cry, for the change that comes today. Today you are no longer living under my roof… today you have your own roof to decorate, to pay for, to live under, to make messes in. It’s a very good day for you. Don’t forget to remember how this feels, and enjoy the little things.
Fill your first place with memories, with friends, with family. Take photos, write poems, sketch and paint pictures. Cook delicious meals and listen to amazing music, fill your life with good things, and don’t hurry too much. This is your time. Make the most of it. It will disappear all too fast, just like the past twenty years have for me. Women sometimes forget to slow down and live. I hope you’ll remember, today. Now spread your wings and fly, my baby girl… with my blessing, with all my hopes and faith that you are strong and smart and beautiful and ready to take on the world. It's a beautiful sky.
You know the way home,
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