Letting Go as She Prepares to Soar
By Chrystal Rambarath
I distinctly remember, holding my infant daughter close, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. I looked at the pictures of my friends’ children on their first day of school. I remember thinking that it would be a long time before my daughter and I would reach that bittersweet milestone. I still remember turning away from the screen as if to insulate us from the outside world and any infringement on our safe, cozy bubble. In those moments, all I wanted was to barricade myself in her infancy and breathe in the smell of her innocence. But, even with her late birthday and the gift of the extra year before school that comes with it, here I am, literally on the eve of her first day of elementary school.
I am exhausted from the preparations and should drag myself to bed so that I can be my best self on tomorrow’s pre-dawn wake up call. However, something calling deep within me needs me to put my thoughts to paper, to capture my feelings, and to leave my little girl this message as she embarks on this major life milestone…
My Darling Daughter,
Since the day I knew I was going to be your mother, I did everything to protect you and to love you. You are our sunshine, given to your dad and me during our darkest days. Even though you often turn into a thundercloud, it does not diminish the light you bring to our lives, or our love for you.
When you were put into my arms, I was overcome with so much love I didn’t know I could feel. The emotions of it all caused tears to flow from my eyes. We shaped our entire lives around you, and then you and your baby brother. We tried to give you all that you needed, all the love you could handle, and to show you how deeply loved you are, and how proud we are of you.
Until now, you have been mostly our baby girl, our little girl. But tomorrow, we will let a little of you go. Tomorrow, you start elementary school. Tomorrow, you will need us a little less, and the friends you will make a little more. I won’t be there during the day to protect you, to spare you any pain, and I won’t be there to show you how to do things or to make things all better. But I promise to be there in the evenings, ready to listen and hear everything you want to tell me.
To prepare you, I want to leave you with some lessons I have learned, sometimes the hard way.
Be a child as long as you can. Childhood is so very fleeting. Enjoy it. Treasure the things that make you laugh, wonder, and believe in magic. Don’t let anyone tell you that what you think is childish. Do not be in a hurry to grow up- revel in the play years.
Be kind. People, children, are inherently good. While not everyone will be nice to you or others, but be kind anyway. You have a kind heart and a kind soul. Let kindness be your navigation in all your decisions throughout life. Be a defender of kindness and look out for others.
Be honest. Be truthful, especially to yourself. Most times, if you look inward, you will know exactly what to do. Be honest as kindly as you can.
Be fearless. Childhood is a time for exploration. Trust your parents and your teachers to introduce you to new experiences, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Trust that you can do anything your heart desires or that you put your mind to. Ignore those who laugh or say you cannot.
Be persistent. It’s okay to fail at times. It only makes you stronger, and teaches you what not to do. Success will come if you keep trying. If you believe in something, do not give up. Tune out the negativity and those who will try to discourage you.
Be confident. You are loved. You are strong, smart, beautiful, kind, and brave. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise. Believe in yourself. Trust that you are valued and valuable. Know that your abilities are limitless and your destiny is uncharted. You control it. You can imagine it, you can shape it, and you can achieve it.
Baby girl, your family has loved you unconditionally since you were a tiny ball of cells. We watched you grow from a feisty baby to a fierce little girl. None of us can adequately express all that we feel for you. Just know that our love is boundless and we are immeasurably proud of you.
Sweet daughter, we make mistakes often, but we are trying to teach you everything that what we learned in hindsight. We are trying to live the ideals of trust, respect, truth, justice, equality and equity. We hope that you will take all these principles with you.
We do not know what the future holds for you. What we do know is that whatever you do in life has a lot to do with what you make of what you have. Whatever your desires and goals are in life, we promise to be there to support you and encourage you.
Just as much as you have shaped our lives, we tried to shape you the best we know how. And now, we let you test your wings, as you learn to soar.
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